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Dish and Tribune Reach New Carriage Agreement, Ending Blackout

Agreement restores 42 local television stations in 33 markets and WGN America

Dish Network and Tribune Broadcasting have ended their carriage dispute with a new long-term agreement, the companies announced.

The two companies issued a joint statement on Saturday: “We want to thank our viewers and customers for their patience and support as we worked through this lengthy process. We’re pleased to move forward and again be able to provide the content of Tribune’s local stations and WGN America for years to come.”

The exact terms of the agreement were not made public. Tribune stations are expected to once again be made available to Dish subscribers today.

Dish Network blacked out Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated TV stations in 33 markets in June, affecting more than 50 million households. An additional near-7 million Dish subscribers also lost access to WGN America when the companies’ retransmission agreement expired.

During the dispute, Dish claimed that Tribune’s desired rate increase was “unreasonable” and that the local TV giant was trying to force WGN America into a bundle subscribers didn’t want. Tribune argued it was offering the same “fair market rates” Dish pays to other local station groups.

Dish similarly blacked out NFL Network and NFL RedZone from their distribution system in June, contributing to the service’s worst quarterly subscriber loss ever.