LIN Media, Dish retrans battle on tap; blackout possible by weekend

This week Dish Network's (Nasdaq: DISH) retransmission deal with LIN Media expires and, according to a LIN news release, "it appears unlikely that a new agreement will be reached." If so, Fox, CW, CBS, ABC and MyNetwork TV affiliates across 17 Dish markets will go dark.

If it happens, blame LIN, according to a Dish statement, because the broadcaster is "demanding more than a 140 percent rate hike and other burdensome contract terms."

There seems to be a disconnect. When asked during an earnings conference call last week, Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Dish Network was almost dismissive about the satellite provider's retransmission consent scenario this year.

"From a general standpoint, 2011 will be lighter in terms of renewals and expirations than either 2010 or 2009," Cullen said. "That being said, with retrans there are always deals in cycle. We do have some coming up this year and we'll deal with those in due course."

For more:
- LIN Media has this news release (PDF)
- Dish responds with this release

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