Dish Network has once again staved off a station blackout of ABC affiliate WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, with another short-term extension.
Dish’s retrans deal with Citadel Communications now expires at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept. 6.
Last week, Dish began offering qualified local subscribers free installation of HD over-the-air antennas in anticipation of a service interruption.
“We’ve been actively working to negotiate an agreement that keeps ABC6 available on Dish, but Citadel’s unbending attitude and outrageous demands show that this broadcaster has no intention of coming to a deal,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish executive VP of marketing, programming and media sales, in a statement.
Dish lost an estimated 281,000 users to its core satellite TV business in the second quarter and has seen steady erosion of the platform dating back more than a year—erosion partially caused by a steady stream of network service interruptions.
Dish, of course, blamed rising programming costs.
“The fastest rising cost of almost any pay-TV bill is what broadcasters like Citadel charge for local channels, but they are available for free with a digital antenna,” added Schlichting. “While other pay-TV providers charge ‘Broadcast TV’ fees, Dish is asking, ‘Why pay for channels if you can get them with an antenna for free?’”