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Dish Network May Lose Nexstar Locals in Carriage Dispute with Largest Broadcast Station Owner

Jason Gurwin

Dish customers may soon be without Nexstar locals in 120 markets. In a statement today, Dish said that they will soon lose 164 Nexstar locals if the two sides can’t reach a deal by December 2nd. At the center of the dispute is the continual increase of affiliate transmission fees, in addition to Nexstar requiring Dish to carry WGN America.

“Since becoming the nation’s largest local station owner, Nexstar has increased its annual revenue by $1 billion a year. Now, it has set its sights on DISH customers as their next big payday,” said Brian Neylon, Group President, DISH TV. “Nexstar is demanding more than $1 billion in fees for its television channels. This shocking increase is the highest we’ve ever seen. Nexstar is intentionally turning its back on its public interest obligation and instead demanding consumers pay significantly more for the channels they could receive for free over-the-air.”

While this doesn’t affect Sling TV, since they don’t carry Nexstar locals — Nexstar is in disputes with two other streaming services. Since mid-October, Nexstar-owned ABC local affiliates have been dark on Hulu Live TV, while Nexstar-owned CBS affiliates have been off fuboTV since September.

Last year, Nexstar-owned local affiliates went dark on DirecTV and AT&T TV NOW for 2 months before the two sides were able to come to a new deal.

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