NEW YORK (AP) – TV station operator Tegna and Dish Network said Sunday they resolved their contract dispute, and that Tegna stations would return to Dish effectively immediately.
Tegna had cut off Dish subscribers’ access to its local channels Friday evening in more than three dozen markets because of a contract dispute. The dispute affected 46 TV stations operated by Tegna in 38 markets across 33 states. On Sunday, the two sides said they reached a multi-year agreement, but did not provide further details.
The dispute came about because Dish had refused to pay the rate increase pushed by Tegna for retransmission consent fees.
Tegna Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, had previously said Dish routinely drops cable and broadcast channels and called it a “serial dropper of channels.” It said it has always been able to reach a fair agreement with other providers without disrupting viewers. It noted that Dish was “preventing its customers from accessing valued channels, even as customers continue to pay for that content.”
Dish, based in Englewood, Colorado, had said it offered a short-term contract extension to Tegna while negotiations continued, but that Tegna instead chose to “use innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”
Tegna is the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching about one third of all TV households nationwide, according to its website. It’s the largest independent owner of NBC and CBS affiliates in the country and is the fourth-largest owner of ABC affiliates.
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