FOX stations settle long-term retrans spat with DISH TV

Michelle Clancy | 14-01-2013

Flagship Southern Oregon FOX affiliate KMVU, as well as FOX stations in Washington State and New York, will be returning to the DISH TV line-up after settling a long-standing retransmission feud.

KMVU's owner Northwest Broadcasting and the second-largest US satellite operator had been at an impasse since 26 November, disputing the level of retransmission fees that the satellite operator should pay.

DISH Network's vice president of programming, Andrew LeCuyer, said at the time that Northwest was "demanding an unprecedented and unusual 'retroactive payment' from DISH stretching back multiple years. That demand is above and beyond what DISH has already paid for the right to carry Northwest Broadcasting during this time". For its part, Northwest said that DISH reneged on a deal to pay the same amount for the carriage as DirecTV.

DISH TV subscribers missed the last half of the NFL season but the signals' reinstatement means that viewers will catch the rest of the playoffs. The station has added a new banner on its website to alert viewers: "Good news for DISH customers!" the banner read. "We are back on!"

This is the second dispute Northwest Broadcasting had in 2012; in August, KMVU was blacked out on DirecTV and that squabble took ten weeks to resolve, meaning that viewers missed the World Series.

"It is difficult for our small company to stand up to a $14 billion company like DISH, but if we do not, we will not be able to survive in this economic environment," said Northwest COO Jon Rand.