Television providers going to battle with content providers is becoming just as common as the sun rising in the morning. DISH Network has been in numerous disputes over the past few years. Their latest opponent is Hearst Television, which runs television and radio stations across 39 states. Hearst distributes various channels to those in their service areas. They include ABC, CBS, CW, MeTV, and NBC. Hearst hopes to put additional pressure on DISH Network by launching a unique time clock, which specifies the amount of time Hearst content has been unavailable on DISH. The launch of the clock comes after the company circulated a letter to their loyal viewers.
In the letter, Hearst made it clear that they place the blame squarely on DISH. In fact, they suggest the company is employing the age-old strategy of a long-term impasse. While Hearst Television has been able to finalize distribution agreements with others TV providers, negotiations with DISH have fell through. Hearst doesn’t expect DISH to change their mind anytime soon either. Hearst believes DISH will use various schemes to delay meaningful discussions. While the company’s content may not be available through DISH, it is available through other providers.
Also, consumers in the company’s services areas can gain access to Hearst Television content for free by investing in an over-the-air antenna. Alternatively, many of Hearst Television’s stations stream their newscasts on their websites and through their mobile apps. DISH Network’s Warren Schlichting recently appeared in a video released directly to DISH customers. In the video, Schlichting defended DISH, while insisting it was Hearst that had refused to negotiate. According to Schlichting, Hearst Television has refused to budge from their last offer, which was submitted on March the 1st.
That offer would effectively double the price of the company’s channels, while simultaneously making Hearst the highest paid local broadcaster with DISH. Schlichting also suggests Hearst has refused to respond to their latest offer. DISH has encouraged their subscribers to contact Hearst directly and tell them to bring their stations back to DISH. With Hurst pointing out that DISH has been involved in approximately 60% of all carriage disputes since 2015, it is hard to know who is telling the truth.
Regardless of which side you take, there is one thing that is painfully obvious. It is the subscriber that is punished in these types of situations.