WBRZ will No Longer be on Dish Network
WBRZ will no longer be on DISH Network. We had hoped to have some progress to report to you on this impasse, but unfortunately, DISH has not changed its position since our last update. DISH continues to insist on new, unreasonable material terms and conditions that are less favorable than our current agreement. WBRZ is only asking for a fair price that is similar to other providers.
As a DISH customer, we know you are frustrated with this situation. Unfortunately, when we are involved in a business situation like this, it impacts you, and that part is very difficult for us because that is the last thing we want to have happened. We want our programming to be there for you, and right now, it’s not. For that, we apologize.
We have fundamental, philosophical disagreements with DISH. The biggest obstacle is that DISH is asking WBRZ to approve a technology that we can’t agree to. Our major sticking point is not about the financial terms.
We are doubtful that our station will ever return to the DISH Network.
That means that, on DISH, you will not be able to watch our local news, weather, exclusive investigations and sports programming, along with the fall premieres of popular ABC shows such as Wheel of Fortune, Modern Family, Dancing with Stars, and How to Get Away with Murder.
However, WBRZ and its programming continue to be available over the air, along with. WBRZ is also available on DIRECTV, EATEL, AT&T U-verse, YouTube TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and other multi-channel video programming services in the area. ABC Programming can also be streamed using the Watch ABC app.
WBRZ is and has been owned since 1955 by a small family-owned company. Our station cannot be bullied into a bad business decision just because DISH, a multi-billion-dollar company, is pressuring us to do so. It would be wrong for our station, and it would be wrong for our viewers, as it would impact our ability to provide the local news and sports, severe weather coverage, and all our network shows that you have come to expect from our station. The fees we receive from our distributors are shared with ABC Network and help us pay for these programming costs and the salaries we pay our employees that live right here in our community.
Please know that we would end this impasse today if DISH would get reasonable with its demands, but so far, they have failed to do so, and as a result, this impasse could continue for some time.
What is this all about?
A federal law first enacted in 1992 allows television stations to negotiate the terms of carriage, including compensation, from multichannel video programming distributors such as DISH Network. WBRZ and DISH were in the process of negotiating a renewal of the agreement that grants DISH the right to carry the station. That agreement expired earlier this year, and WBRZ had offered DISH multiple extensions to attempt to complete a new deal. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move forward with DISH, little progress was made.
Why can't you reach an agreement?
DISH has refused to negotiate appropriate market value retransmission compensation for WBRZ. DISH believes that it should pay far less than every other video provider for our highly rated and award-winning news, weather coverage, and ABC network programming such as Good Morning America, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, Modern Family, and The Bachelorette.
Why should DISH have to pay to carry television stations that are available for free over the air?
WBRZ is available over the air for free to our viewers, but our signal is not free to subscriber-based services such as DISH Network that repackage our signals and sell them to their subscribers at a profit. In fact, the law requires DISH Network to obtain a retransmission consent agreement to carry our station and to negotiate in good faith with us in exchange for granting our consent.
Are these disputes common with DISH?
Unfortunately, yes. Over the past several years, DISH has had disputes with hundreds of local television stations. Even right now, DISH is in multiple disputes, including with Univision nationally and with other local stations in other areas, many of which are small, family-owned broadcasters like ourselves. While the length of these disputes has varied, DISH has had some disputes that have lasted for months. The chairman of the board of DISH has said that he believes DISH’s dispute with Univision may be permanent.
How can I find your station?
WBRZ continues to be available over the air with an antenna and is also available on all other multichannel video programming distributors in the area, including DIRECTV, Eatel, Cox, and AT&T U-verse.
What can I do to help get WBRZ back on DISH?
The best thing you can do is to let DISH Network know how much you value WBRZ and that they need to keep local channels like WBRZ on their system to retain you as a customer. DISH Network can be reached at (800) 333-3474.
Can I contact WBRZ?
Yes, of course. We encourage our viewers to give us input and allow us to answer your questions. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:15 pm, except for holidays. If we are not here, leave a message and we will call you back. Our office number is 225.387.2222. We look forward to talking with any DISH subscriber one-on-one and sharing our side of the story.