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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 14, 2011

Dish Network and Lin Media Finally Form Term Agreement

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

A dispute that made Dish Network service unavailable for eight days to 27 local television stations in 17 cities has now ended, and service has been resumed. Dish Network and television station owner Lin TV compromised on contract terms Sunday.

Specifics about the agreement remain confidential, and neither company commented regarding how many viewers were affected by the loss of service.

A March 5 deadline was put into place, but because both companies were still in heated debate; no deal was reached and service was cut off to subscribers. Dish Network subscribers in cities including Indianapolis, Providence, R.I., and Buffalo, N.Y., could not tune in to any of their favorite shows coming from local affiliates of big networks like CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and the CW.

Not being able to come to common terms in an agreement is a trend that is continuing to spread. Cable and satellite providers continue to fight back against the large fees they are forced to pay broadcast stations, in order for their signals to be in their channel lineups.

In October, Cablevision Systems and News Corp.'s Fox network denied access to Fox programming to 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area for 15 days due to a agreement dispute, which left viewers unable to watch two World Series games. This was a huge problem on many levels—but especially for baseball fans.

In January, Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcast group worked out an agreement with just hours to spare, right before a midnight deadline that would have stopped local service to 4 million subscribers in Buffalo, San Antonio and Greensboro, N.C.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee