Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group reached a last-minute agreement Thursday to keep Sinclair stations from going dark for Dish subscribers.
"Dish is pleased to tell our customers that we have reached an agreement in principle with Sinclair Broadcast Group, allowing Dish to continue offering Sinclair’s local channels to our customers," the company said in a statement.
A retransmission agreement between the companies expired at midnight. Because they were at odds over fees, Sinclair stations in 45 cities could have gone dark.
Before the deal, Dish said the Baltimore-based Sinclair was seeking an excessive increase that would be passed on to subscribers. The stations include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels, as well as CW and MyNetwork affiliates.
Sinclair said in a statement before the deal that its request for an increase was reasonable. It said its points of contention with Dish also involved the company's Auto Hop feature, which enables customers to skip commercials for previously aired primetime network shows.
Dish had similar dispute with Hoak Media stations in June that prevented Dish customers from watching those channels until an agreement was reached. Dish is also locked in a dispute that is keeping it from offering AMC Networks.
Also last month, Viacom stations went dark for DirecTV subscribers in another disputre over fees.