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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 07, 2011

Dish Network Held Hostage by Lin TV Corporation

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

A recent television battle between Dish Network and LIN Media resulted in a stalemate situation with no agreement reached.

The two companies had been arguing over transmission fees, particularly Dish to LIN, and had been blaming each other for the duration of the weekend. In the end, LIN’s TV channels went off the air for Dish subscribers on Saturday, including networks such as Fox, CBS, MyNetwork T, NBC and The CW.

In a he said/she said-like scenario, Dish claims that a demand in pay increase has left the company to submit to “outrageous demands,” while LIN network is blaming dish for pulling the networks. 

"LIN Media is simply being greedy, insisting on a rate increase so immense that DISH Network and its customers couldn't possibly absorb it. Their onerous demands and burdensome contract terms would result in payments of millions of dollars more each month, exceeding current market rates and demanding more money than we pay most of our popular national networks,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of Programming for Dish Network in a statement.

As of Saturday, LIN Media stated that they only wanted “what is fair for our local stations,” and wanted to stay in negotiations in an effort to reach a positive outcome.

Neither side has said how many subscribers would be affected by the outage. LIN stations are featured in cities including Indianapolis, Providence, R.I., and Buffalo, N.Y.

All of this has occurred days after the FCC was looking into ways the government can help prevent these sorts of TV station spats. The process, as it is being discussed, aims to perform a “redo” on some of the laws that govern cable and satellite operators and how they pay for the right to retransmit broadcast channels.

"It’s time to take a fresh look and explore whether there are measures we can take to allow the market-based process contemplated by the retransmission consent laws to operate more smoothly, and serve consumers and the marketplace," FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski (News - Alert) said in a statement.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Tammy Wolf