Dish reaches agreement with News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, avoids blackout

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has agreed on a multi-year broadcast retransmission licensing extension with News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, ending a short impasse that threatened to black out 16 stations on the satellite TV carrier.

The two sides had been operating under a short-term extension since Feb. 23, when their last agreement expired. Terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

The station group announced the deal on its website with a very brief statement: "We have reached an agreement with Dish. Thank you for your support."

The agreement was carved out in time for Dish-subscribing viewers of ABC affiliates such as KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs to see Sunday night's Oscars telecast.

Less than two months in, it's already been an active year for Dish in terms of retrans battles. The satellite operator was blacked out on Fort Meyers Broadcasting stations for a month leading into the Super Bowl.

And in early January, Dish settled a dispute with Cordillera Communications that kept stations in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana and Texas off its program guide.

Speaking to investors two weeks ago, Dish Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen told investors that retransmission reform is among the company's biggest regulatory priorities.

Retrans negotiations are, Ergen said, "so one-sided, particularly to the network broadcaster." The FCC's decision to reform current laws governing these negotiations, he added, "will have more impact on consumers than new set-top rules."

For more:
- read this Colorado Springs Gazette story

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