Media General, DISH resolve retrans row

Editor | 17-11-2013

US satellite operator DISH Network has settled its at times bitter retransmissions disputes with Media General that has led to blank screens for almost six weeks.

Full terms of the deal have yet to be revealed by the two parties but effective immediately, Media General stations will be available to DISH subscribers in Augusta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Charleston, S.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Columbus, Ohio; Greenville, N.C.; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Jackson, Miss.; Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla.; Florence/Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Providence, R.I.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.; Savannah, Ga.; Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. and Tri-Cities, Tenn./Va.

On 1 October 2013, DISH pulled the plug on Media General station in 17 markets, accusing the latter of failing to engage in good faith negotiations to resolve yet another of the seemingly culturally inherent US retrans rows.

Responding, Media General noted that the dispute marked the first time that in its history that it had failed to reach an agreement with a cable operator or satellite carrier.

In a statement it said: “We have acted in a responsive, courteous and professional manner at all times, have accommodated numerous of DISH’s requests and have negotiated in absolute good faith since we began discussions in June— not merely because of any obligation to do so, but because our own standards, and our commitments to our viewers and our communities demand nothing less… Unfortunately, DISH would prefer to manufacture a dispute, and now ask for government intervention, for its own purposes, rather than pay us a fair, market-based rate for the value of our stations.”