Our Job is to Represent You
We protect our customers by working with a national cooperative of TV providers, negotiating fees and programming on your behalf. We want you to have access to all your favorite programs at a price that’s fair. We know that anything less is unacceptable – it’s why we go to bat for you.
Channels you want: As local cable operators, we work every day on behalf of our customers to make sure you have access to the channels you want, when you want them.
Fair price: When networks demand higher fees, local cable operators are forced to pass along some of these costs to customers. We fight for lower rates for you.
Blackouts: When disputes occur, programmers will often take high-visibility TV programs off the air to negotiate deals in their favor. For the local cable operator and our customers, the impact can be significant. Our goal is to come to an agreement before this happens.
We are a local business. We are our own customers, too. This means we invest in our networks here, and are committed to serving you – our friends, families and neighbors.
Nexstar blacked out 120 stations from AT&T and DIRECTV for 8 weeks because AT&T wouldn't agree to their demands for, "... the largest increase that AT&T has ever seen from any content provider."
Optimum convinced FOX to keep their networks on while they continued negotiating but FOX pulled them for a short time to pressure them into an agreement.
AT&T and DIRECTV customers in 14 markets lost their CBS and The CW signals for 20 days. AT&T referred to CBS as a “repeat blackout offender” who regularly threatens to remove signals to get higher fees.
Over 20 FOX RSNs were pulled from DISH customers for over 2 months when DISH wouldn't accept the, “unreasonable demands for the continued carriage of their stations.”
Sinclair threatened millions of customers with blacking out 136 television stations to get AT&T to give in to their demands.
FOX blacked out many cable networks and 17 stations for 10 days when DISH didn’t cave in to double-digit rate increases and other demands. DISH offered an extension but was turned down. “FOX had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up,” DISH said. “Instead, FOX chose to harm its viewers.”
Fox aired multiple scripted commercials featuring actors regarding the carriage dispute with Dish, so this is clearly something they’ve been prepared for. When was that taped? When were the scripted commercials taped? Fox has clearly been prepared for Dish Network pulling the channels for a long while, and they’re now putting on an all-out blitz.
DISH claims that Fox is demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels. It said the programmer is also attempting to force a bundling of its local channels and cable networks in order to get more money from the deal and gain negotiating leverage. In order to avoid a blackout, DISH said it offered Fox a short-term contract extension to Fox that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon.
“Fox had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up,” DISH SVP, programming Andy LeCuyer said in a statement. “Instead, Fox chose to harm its viewers.”
“The fact is, only FOX Regional Sports Networks can choose to remove their content from DISH customers,” Dish said on its website. “Sports are the most expensive programming out there, and players’ salaries have increased … That money has to come from somewhere, making sports the most expensive part of customer’s bills.”
The system does appear to be broken in a sense. As of July, the U.S. had experienced 213 blackouts as a result of retransmission disputes since the beginning of the year – tying the previous year-long record, according to the American Television Alliance, which includes consumer groups, video providers and independent programmers. Pay-TV operators have approached the FCC and Congress, seeking changes to the regulations that govern local broadcast content distribution.