Dish Network Has Requested Tribune Media Participate in Arbitration
Wednesday, June, 29, 2016
The Dish Network, a satellite television provider, has requested that Tribune media submit to arbitration in order to settle the days-long retransmission consent dispute. The process would be similar to the arbitration process that happens between baseball players and teams for which they play. The move would restore Tribune’s channels that Dish Network is currently refusing to air while the arbitration talks occur. At the moment, 43 stations in 33 markets are dark.
Dish complained the broadcaster was asking too much for a rate hike and the extended carriage for WGN America. Tribune Media responded it is asking for nothing more than fair market value for the content it is providing.
According to the Dish executive vice president for programming, the goal is to return local stations to customers immediately, and to use binding arbitration to help the parties reach a fair deal and to continue serving the customers. As of now, Dish is handing out tens of thousands of free over-the-air antennas so customers are able to receive the local channels. This is a temporary solution to help customers impacted by the blackout and so far, Dish believes it has been a successful temporary solution.
This is by no means the first time cable and satellite television providers have been involved in disputes with broadcasters. Most subscribers to the major providers, including DISH and DirecTV, have seen crawling messages across the bottom of their screens asking that they contact various parties involved in a dispute and request a settlement that will prevent or restore blacked out channels.