Nexstar’s local TV stations were dropped by Dish Network after the two companies failed to reach a new carriage agreement on Wednesday.
Nexstar is the largest owner of local TV stations in the country with nearly 200 stations. Dish Network says around 5.4 million subscribers will be impacted. You can find the list of impacted stations here.
“We made a fair offer to keep Nexstar stations available to our customers, but Nexstar rejected it,” said Brian Neylon, Group President, Dish TV. “Earlier today, we offered to extend the current contract and hold subscribers harmless while negotiations continue — once at 11:53am MST and again at 3:11pm MST — but Nexstar never responded. We don’t understand why Nexstar insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, many of whom rely on local programming for their news and entertainment, especially during this global pandemic.
“Nexstar is demanding over $1 billion in fees for stations that are available for free over the air,” added Neylon. “This shocking increase is the largest we have ever seen. While we work to keep subscribers’ TV bills as low as possible, Nexstar has no problem passing the buck on to American consumers. It has turned its back on its public interest obligation and is demanding significantly more money for the same programming.”
The stations went dark at 7 p.m. ET.
In its own statement, Nexstar slammed Dish: “Since July, Nexstar has been negotiating tirelessly and in good faith in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable multi-year contract with Dish, offering Dish the same fair market rates it offered to other large distribution partners with whom it completed successful negotiations in 2019 and 2020. Nexstar routinely reaches amicable retransmission and carriage agreements with its cable, satellite and telco partners and in the month of October alone, successfully completed agreements with nearly 200 distribution partners.”