If you’re a Dish Network subscriber and were watching TV late last night you may have experienced channel blackouts. Dish’s deal with Raycom Media ran out at midnight on Aug. 1 so the company pulled the plug on 53 local channels in 36 markets. Local channels at that time may have been broadcasting late night favorites such as Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC), Late Show With David Letterman (CBS), and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC) as well as local programming.
Dish Network blames Raycom for the outage stating “Unfortunately, the broadcaster [Raycom Media] has not been willing to pursue an agreement that would have avoided this disruption of service to our customers and Raycom viewers.”
Raycom, on the other side, claims to have been trying to work with Dish for “several months” to resolve the issue. According to Raycom Media President and CEO Paul McTear, “We understand this is frustrating for DISH Network customers, we share their frustration, and we are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue.”
Dish Network insists they have offered the same rates as their competitors, and that Raycom has “stalled negotiations.”
Meanwhile, subscribers have no access to local channels Raycom markets. Customers can, however, use an antenna to tune-in to local channels (even in HD) over-the-air.
The action affects viewers of various ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated stations in the following markets: Cleveland, Ohio (CBS); Panama City, Fla. (Fox); Montgomery, Ala. (NBC); Knoxville, Tenn. (Fox); Savannah, Ga. (CBS); Toledo, Ohio (CBS, Fox); Columbus, Ga. (ABC); Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (NBC); Cincinnati, Ohio (Fox); Jonesboro, Ark. (ABC); Tyler-Longview, Texas (ABC); Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. (ABC); Paducah, Ky. (CBS); Honolulu, Hawaii (CBS and NBC); Tucson, Ariz. (CBS); Shreveport, La. (CBS); Baton Rouge, La. (CBS); Charlotte, N.C. (CBS); Charleston, S.C. (CBS); Ottumwa-Kirksville, Mo. (Fox); Birmingham, Ala. (Fox); Dothan, Ala. (Fox); West Palm Beach, Fla. (Fox); Augusta, Ga. (Fox); Lubbock, Texas (NBC); Lake Charles, La. (NBC); Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (NBC); Albany, Ga. (NBC); Louisville, Ky. (NBC); Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss. (NBC); Wilmington, N.C. (NBC and Fox); Evansville, Ind. (NBC); Columbia, S.C. (NBC); Jackson, Miss. (NBC); Florence-Myrtle Beach, Fla. (NBC); and Memphis, Tenn. (NBC).
Also affected are various CW and MyNetworkTV channels in five markets: Baton Rouge, La.; Cleveland, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; Paducah, Ky.; and Richmond-Petersburg, Va.