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Dish Network Reaches Deal with TEGNA to Bring Back 64 Local Affiliates, After 4 Month Dispute

Jason Gurwin

After a nearly four month carriage dispute, Dish customers are getting back their TEGNA locals.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached a new agreement with DISH, restoring our valuable and important live local news, live local and national sports and highly popular network content to DISH TV subscribers,” said Lynn Beall, EVP and COO, media operations, TEGNA. “We appreciate the patience of our viewers while we worked toward reaching an agreement.”

The channels that were affected included are 64 TEGNA locals, including those in Denver, Washington DC, San Diego, Hartford, Tampa, Jacksonville, and others. It did not affect those with Sling TV, which only carry NBC and FOX owned-and-operated channels.

In January, TEGNA reached a deal with Verizon FIOS after a five day carriage dispute.

The battle between TEGNA and Dish had been heated.

In November, Dish Network filed a bad faith complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, alleging that Tegna had been acting in bad faith in connection with the ongoing negotiations over a new carriage deal.

According to the filing, Dish says that viewership of Tegna’s “Big-4” affiliated stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX) has declined over the past three years, and that despite this, Tegna is demanding an increase in the rate that Dish pays.

“The result of Tegna’s actions is that DISH’s subscribers have lost access to the critical local news, sports, and entertainment programming of Tegna’s Big-4 affiliated stations,” the filing said. “Tegna’s misconduct violates both the letter and the intent of the Commission’s good faith rules and has generated, and continues to generate, significant consumer harm.”

At the time, a TEGNA spokesperson sent a statement to The Streamable saying that Dish’s complaint is without merit. The statement pointed out that Dish has dropped more than 230 channels over the past year, and is repeating the same pattern by refusing to reach an agreement with TEGNA.

“DISH’s complaint is utterly baseless and without merit. TEGNA welcomes a chance for the FCC to review DISH’s conduct over the course of this negotiation. Perhaps a close examination of DISH’s conduct will cause them to come to the table to negotiate free from their consistently unproductive tactics and public misrepresentations,” the statement said.

Last year, TEGNA local affiliates were dropped from DirecTV and AT&T TV for ~18 days, before the two sides were able to reach a deal.

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