Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and Tegna announced on Sunday that they reached a long-term TV broadcast retransmission agreement. The companies declined to provide the terms of the deal.
The companies reached the agreement after a brief, one-day blackout on Saturday that prevented Dish customers from accessing 38 Tegna stations operating in 33 of the satellite TV company's markets.
On Saturday, shortly before removing its stations from Dish's satellite service, Tegna released the following statement: "Tegna has worked hard over the course of months to reach a deal with Dish," Tegna said on Saturday amid its brief blackout on Dish's service. "Our position has been simple: the same fundamental terms that allowed us to reach deals with distributors nationwide should serve as the basis for our deal with Dish. Rather than accepting that fair, market-based approach, Dish has refused to reach an agreement and once again is preventing its customers from accessing valued channels, even as customers continue to pay for that content. Despite Dish's repeated efforts to blame programmers, the record is crystal clear -- Dish is a serial dropper of channels. It has been responsible for the largest broadcast blackout in history and routinely drops valued cable and broadcast channels. Tegna, on the other hand, has never been in this position before because we have always been able to reach fair agreements with distributors without disrupting our viewers."
Speaking for Dish, meanwhile, the American Cable Association pointed its rhetoric towards the FCC's ongoing movement to reform broadcast retransmission negotiations. In an ACA statement on Saturday, the trade group said: "Tegna Broadcasting's outrageous conduct is Exhibit A as to why the FCC is investigating the broadcast industry and preparing to crack down on abusive behavior that harms consumers. There is only one party responsible for this blackout and that is Tegna broadcasting. Tegna alone has the power to restore their signal and stop hurting consumers."
In any event, with NFL games scheduled on Tegna's Fox, CBS and NBC network affiliates, both sides had incentive to work hard at the bargaining table early Sunday morning to make the deal occur.
One more retrans deal is still pending from a flurry of agreements that expired Sept. 30 -- an extension between AT&T U-verse and Tribune Media expires Tuesday.
Dish and Tegna once again face blackout, with extension set to expire
Dish and Tegna pull back from the brink, extend current retrans deal 8 days
AT&T's U-verse and Tribune extend retrans talks to Oct. 13