Dish and Tegna pull back from the brink, extend current retrans deal 8 days

Tegna Media said it has agreed to an eight-day extension of its current retransmission licensing agreement with Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), averting a black out involving 51 TV stations in 39 markets.

"Tegna and Dish have agreed to an eight-day contract extension through Friday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. ET as talks continue on a new agreement," a Tegna statement said. "With Hurricane Joaquin forecast to potentially impact several Tegna markets, this extension ensures that critical programming remains available to all viewers."

Tegna (formerly Gannett) had already agreed to a 24 hour extension that averted a station blackout on Wednesday, when its current retransmission deal with Dish expired.

The extension came hours after DirecTV (NYSE: T) and Media General announced a renewal of their retrans arrangement, averting a blackout that would have affected 62 stations in 40 markets. 

Still undetermined is the fate of ongoing talks between AT&T U-verse and Tribune Media to renew a contract that also expired Wednesday. The two sides agreed to a 24-hour extension Wednesday, with a blackout of 24 stations scheduled to begin Thursday evening if no deal is made. 

The slow negotiations come after retrans fees grew 40 percent per pay-TV subscriber over the last year. The FCC has signaled that it's ready to make key changes to how it regulates retransmission licensing talks, and broadcasters are aggressively pushing for the best possible retrans deals before the regulatory landscape shifts. 

Related articles:
Tegna extends Dish 24 hours, as blackout-laden Thursday looms
Dish says Tegna rejected its retrans extension offer as blackout involving millions looms
Blackout Thursday: DirecTV comes to terms with Media General; Dish and U-verse still haggling with station groups

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