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Dish-Sinclair Standoff Builds to Possible Midnight Blackout Wednesday

Dish says Sinclair making unreasonable demands

Dish Network is in a familiar spot: In the satellite provider's latest dispute over fees, Sinclair Broadcast Group stations in 45 cities could go dark at the end of Wednesday.

That's when the retransmission agreement allowing Dish to carry Sinclair expires. Dish had a 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 read: Dish Makes Deal to Restore Customers' Access to 14 Hoak Stations

Dish says Sinclair is asking for an excessive increase in the fees Dish pays to air its stations, which include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels, as well as CW and MyNetwork affiliates. The fees would be passed on to the public, Dish said.

“We carry more than 1,800 local broadcast stations nationwide. Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish. “This goes beyond pure corporate greed — it’s profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public.”

Sinclair did not immediately respond to a request for comment.