Dish and Tegna once again face blackout, with extension set to expire

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) is facing the end of an eight-day extension with TV broadcast group Tegna and could see 47 network affiliates blacked out on its program guide Friday night if a retransmission renewal agreement, or another extension, can't be hammered out.

Dish and Tegna (formerly Gannett) did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the situation. The extension both sides agreed to on Oct. 1 expires at 7 p.m. EST tomorrow. Tegna said last week that the pending arrival of Hurricane Joaquin -- and the need to keep broadcast signals up and running during a possible weather event -- weighed heavily in its decision to agree to this extension. 

"In an effort to reach a fair, long-term contract with Dish, we have agreed to an eight-day extension in our ongoing negotiations," Tegna said on its station websites on Oct. 1. "During this extension period, our station remains available to Dish customers. If no deal is reached by Friday, October 9 at 7 p.m., you will no longer have access to our station."

A Tegna blackout would affect millions of Dish customers and include major affiliates including NBC station WUSA-TV in Denver, Washington, D.C.'s WUSA -TV, and Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, just to name a few. (A full list of Tegna stations can be found here.)

The Dish-Tegna impasse is one of three retrans disputes that flared on Sept. 30, with the expiration of various contracts. DirecTV (NYSE: T) was able to come to terms on a long-term deal with Media General, but AT&T's U-verse platform had to extend its deal with Tribune Media to Oct. 13 to avoid the blackout of 22 stations in 22 markets.

The tough deal making is coming as the FCC is considering major retrans rule changes, and station owners are pushing for the best possible deals before this reform.

For more:
- read this TV Predictions story

Related articles:
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
Blackout Thursday: DirecTV comes to terms with Media General; Dish and U-verse still haggling with station groups

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