Despite Eight Consecutive Court Rulings Rejecting DISH’s Erroneous Claims, DISH Still Refuses to Serve Its Customers
Atlanta – July 22, 2020 – Today, a ruling by a federal court in Illinois ended the latest misguided efforts by DISH to avoid agreeing to reach a fair market carriage agreement for Cox Media Group’s (CMG) TV stations. In spite of this ruling, DISH pulled the CMG stations and left its customers with a blackout in 10 markets during a time when access to local news coverage has never been more important. CMG has offered DISH a standard extension in order to negotiate in good faith, as DISH previously agreed for CMG stations in other markets. DISH has yet to agree.
In its ruling in favor of CMG, the federal court stated that CMG “cannot prevent DISH from retransmitting the stations. They go dark only if DISH so chooses.” The court also emphasized that DISH can avoid a blackout by negotiating with CMG.
CMG’s Executive Vice President of Television Paul Curran said: “During these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that our viewers know their trusted local stations are there for them, providing the news and information they need to make decisions for their families. CMG stations are often the top-rated providers of important local and national news, and take pride in being resources for our communities, and we will fight to continue to fulfill this responsibility.”
Earlier this year, DISH filed and received a Temporary Restraining Order in Illinois state court. The proceeding was later moved to federal court, and today the court dissolved the TRO. And in yet another attempt to stall negotiations, DISH moved to stay the court’s order while it pursues an appeal, which both the district and appellate courts refused. With these rulings, DISH’s endless gamesmanship to avoid agreeing to a fair market deal with CMG must end. Instead, DISH has now removed important news coverage and entertainment content from CMG’s communities in Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Boston, Dayton, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Seattle and Jacksonville.
CMG is eager to conclude a fair market deal with DISH for retransmission of all CMG stations, including those DISH has put at risk with its litigation. CMG is hopeful the satellite carrier will abandon its well-worn path of blacking out TV stations, to the detriment of its viewers, in favor of meaningful negotiations that bear a mutually beneficial deal for all parties. CMG has urged DISH to agree to market terms for carriage of all the CMG stations it carries and to continue carrying the stations under a temporary carriage agreement. DISH has repeatedly refused and tried to use the courts to avoid serving its customers. In addition, DISH made a feeble and disingenuous offer of a temporary carriage deal, which attempted to reverse what the court clearly ruled that DISH is not entitled to.
CMG has negotiated in good faith and reached agreements with virtually every other cable and satellite provider. DISH has resorted to using its typical inflammatory and manipulative PR campaigns and legal maneuvers. This is the same page from the tired playbook that DISH routinely dusts off. In the past year alone, DISH has dropped more than 50 channels as a result of its combative tactics in addition to the countless others that have been dropped in the past.
DISH also continues to unfairly target Apollo Global Management regarding the negotiations related only to CMG. We regret that DISH, as always, is trying to divert attention from the issue at hand – ensuring our valued viewers are able to watch their favorite local programming.
If you are currently affected by DISH’s decision to deprive you of local programming or worried about what DISH will do next, remember that you can make your voice heard! Call DISH today at 1-800-333-3474 and urge them to get your local programming back on their service as quickly as possible and prevent further blackouts.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group (“CMG”) is an industry-leading media company with best-in-class brands, award winning content, and exceptional people. The new CMG was built in December 2019 when the television assets of Northwest Broadcasting were acquired by Terrier Media Buyer, Inc. through the acquisition of NBI Holdings, LLC, which subsequently acquired certain television, radio, newspaper and other media assets of Cox Enterprises, Inc. and its affiliates. CMG provides valuable local content to diverse audiences in the communities it serves.