Dish comes to terms with Cordillera, ends 11-market blackout

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) said it has come to terms on a new broadcast retransmission agreement with Cordillera Broadcasting, ending a blackout that impacted 18 stations in 11 markets that started Thursday. 

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The blackout impacted ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, MyNetwork and independent stations in 11 markets ranging from California to Texas to Montana.

The agreement was announced at around 1:30 p.m. EST Sunday, ending the blackout just in time for the NFC Wild Card Game featuring the Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks. Carriage and retrans blackouts are often ended by the prospect of viewers being blacked out during highly watched NFL events. 

The dispute came almost a year to the date from when Cordillera blacked out satellite competitor DirecTV for 10 days. 

For its part, Dish used the impasse to rhetorically plug for broadcast retransmission reform in Washington. 

"Cordillera's decision to cut ties with Dish customers is a prime example of why Washington needs to stand up for consumers and end local channel blackouts," said R. Stanton Dodge, Dish executive VP and general counsel. "Broadcasters like Cordillera use their in-market monopoly power to put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve."

For more:
- read this Dish press release

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