Dish and Sinclair agree in principle on new contract

August 27, 2015 byTali Arbel

Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest TV broadcasters in the U.S., said Wednesday they've agreed on the outline of a new contract, one day after Sinclair's channels went dark for Dish customers.

Dish Network said signals for the Sinclair channels are being restored. The Federal Communications Commission said the deal ends one of the largest blackouts ever.

The companies said Wednesday they've agreed in principle to a long-term deal and will extended their current contract by two weeks while they finalize terms. The sides didn't disclose further details of the new arrangement.

Cable and satellite TV companies negotiate with owners over issues including how much to pay for the channels. Sometimes that leads to fights that result in channel blackouts, which can last less than a day or drag on. In 2013, Time Warner Cable customers lost access to CBS channels for a month, but this one was short-lived.

Sinclair's channels include affiliates of ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC in markets throughout the country, including Washington DC, Seattle/Tacoma, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

The contract between satellite TV company Dish Network Corp. and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. expired earlier this month and the two sides agreed to one short-term extension, but Dish Network said some channels went dark for more than 5 million of its customers Tuesday afternoon. The dispute affected 129 local stations in 79 different markets, and the FCC said that in terms of markets, the blackout was the largest in history.

In a news release earlier Wednesday, Dish Network said the two sides were at odds over terms for an unidentified cable channel that Sinclair "hopes to acquire, but does not even own today."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he was pleased with the news of the agreement. Earlier, Wheeler said he had asked the Media Bureau of the FCC to call an "emergency meeting" with Dish and Sinclair to help get the channels back on for Dish customers.

Dish is based in Englewood, Colorado, while Sinclair has its headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Explore further: Some Dish channels go dark due to spat with their owner

Related Stories

Some Dish channels go dark due to spat with their owner

August 26, 2015

Dish said Wednesday that some channels have gone dark for more than 5 million of its customers because of a fight with the channels' owner, Sinclair Broadcasting. Dish said that 129 local stations in 79 different markets ...

Time Warner Cable customers may lose TV networks

December 28, 2010

(AP) -- Time Warner Cable Inc. customers from Portland, Maine, to Pensacola, Fla., could lose access to one of their network TV stations because of a contract dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

November 21, 2014

Turner Broadcasting channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are back on the Dish network after being dropped from the satellite TV provider's lineup during contract talks.

Recommended for you

Google Assistant adds more languages in global push

February 23, 2018

Google said Friday its digital assistant software would be available in more than 30 languages by the end of the years as it steps up its artificial intelligence efforts against Amazon and others.

Researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected

February 20, 2018

Studying data from Twitter, University of Illinois researchers found that less people tweet per capita from larger cities than in smaller ones, indicating an unexpected trend that has implications in understanding urban pace ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.