WICHITA FALLS, TX (Jan. 5, 2020)—Dish subscribers in 18 markets across the United States tonight were left in the dark when Dish unilaterally dropped Mission Broadcasting’s local television stations (including Abilene’s KRBC) from its programming line-up without warning on Friday night. Mission and Dish had been negotiating a renewal of the carriage agreement between the two companies, which expired on January 3rd at 7 pm ET. Mission had repeatedly offered to extend the current agreement while negotiations continued, which Dish flatly refused to do.
“Dish gave us no warning when it removed our stations,” said Dennis Thatcher, Mission Broadcasting’s President. “We offered an extension, and Dish refused, even though the NFL Playoffs began on Saturday. This has been, sadly, typical behavior for Dish—the company has constantly put its subscribers in the middle, denying them programming they’ve already paid for rather than taking the path to negotiate in good faith. Mission has now joined the ranks of a number of broadcast groups who been subject to this harsh negotiating tactic by The Dish Network. Mission has a long track record of negotiating fairly with all of its cable, satellite and telco partners and avoiding service interruptions in our markets. That’s simply not the case with Dish.”
Thatcher continued: “We didn’t want any of our viewers in our local markets to miss these crucial NFL games. We have told Dish it can restore our stations at any time by extending the current agreement while we continue negotiating, but Dish has refused this offer. Instead, Dish is once again taking advantage of its subscribers.”
About Mission Broadcasting, Inc
Mission Broadcasting is privately held and owns twenty-one television properties (19 full-power and 2 low-power stations) in eighteen U.S. DMAs. Mission’s majority shareholder is Nancie J. Smith; Nancie is the leading female owner of broadcast television stations in the U.S. Mission portfolio includes ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, MyNetworkTV affiliates in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont.