Dish reaches retrans deal with Bonten, ends 12-station blackout

Dish Networks satellites
The Bonten network affiliates had been blacked out on the Dish Network since Jan. 17.

Dish Network announced over the weekend that it has reached terms on a new broadcast retransmission licensing deal with Bonten Media, ending a blackout that involved 12 stations. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The Bonten network affiliates had been blacked out on the satellite operator since Jan. 17. The stations included WCYB-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Tri-Cities market of Tennessee and Virginia; WEMT-TV, the Fox Tri-Cities affiliate; WCTI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Greenville, North Carolina; WFXI-TV and WTDO-TV, the Fox affiliates in Greenville and New Bern, North Carolina; and KTXS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Abilene, Texas.

RELATED: Dish plays retrans whack-a-mole: Signs with Gray, but gets blacked out by Bonten

On Jan. 24, Bonten put out a rhetorical salvo, accusing Dish of proposing rates that were “below market value.”

However, the station group soon put out another statement that seemed to indicate that negotiations had progressed. 

"Bonten Media Group is continuing to negotiate with Dish toward reaching a new agreement," the statement said. "The negotiations have not been fruitful so far because Dish is proposing terms that are well below fair market value and are not consistent with our current agreements with other cable and satellite companies."

Dish and Bonten also endured a one-month blackout due to a similar impasse back in 2013-14.

It’s been a busy turn-of-the-year for Dish, which also found itself at an impasse with Gray Television. Dish was able to avert a much bigger blackout with Gray, which operates more than 100 stations across 54 markets. The two companies didn’t release terms of their new retrans deal.  

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