Dish facing potential blackout as Raycom talks near deadline

satellite dishes on a roof
Dish Network, which has already been blacked out by 42 Tribune Media stations for the last month, is facing an impasse that could see 56 Raycom network affiliates take it off the satellite service.

Dish Network faces a 6 p.m. EST deadline to make a deal with station group Raycom, or it risks being blacked out on another 56 local network affiliates.

Raycom began posting blackout warnings on its websites. "We are currently negotiating with Dish to avoid them removing (our signals) from their system. Unfortunately, a very small number of carriers, like Dish, have started making our business negotiation your problem,” the notices say.

On its website, where it communicates to the public on carriage and retransmission issues, Dish wondered why Raycom has made the impasse publicly known, when the current contract hasn’t even expired yet. 

The latest negotiating rift with a broadcaster comes as Tribune Media, which blacked out 42 of its network affiliates in 33 markets more than a month ago, has begun running TV commercials on its Indianapolis Fox and CBS stations to put pressure on Dish. 

The spots warn Dish subscribers that they won’t be able to see upcoming Indianapolis Colts games unless they change pay-TV operators, or unless Dish makes a deal with Tribune. 

"Fox 59 and CBS 4 in Indianapolis carry 17 of the Colts 21 preseason and regular season games, and Dish subscribers in Indianapolis will lose access to them. In fact, Dish subscribers will lose access to all Sunday afternoon NFL football.  We want our viewers who are Dish subscribers to know they have options before it is too late. They should consider switching to another provider if they are out of contract," said Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman.

Earlier in the week, Dish did have some happy news to report — it ended a month-long blackout with the NFL over carriage renewal of NFL Network and RedZone.

Yesterday, Dish revealed that the new contract for those channels includes provisions to add them to Sling TV. 

For more:
- read this TV Predictions story
- read this Broadcasting & Cable story

Related articles:
Dish aims to trim customer losses with skinny bundle
Dish ends blackout with NFL Network
Dish loses 281K subs in Q2 as Sling TV growth 'hits a wall'