A last minute deal means local Dish Network subscribers will still be able to get CBS and FOX affiliates found on channels 12 and 20. A stall in talks between Dish Network and Gray Television had Tuesday evening set as a deadline for the service to end, but a deal was ultimately agreed to.
“We are pleased to announce we have reached a deal with Dish Network for carriage of our stations without interruption of service,” said a statement KXII put on its Facebook page Tuesday evening.
Dish Network could not be immediately reached for a comment Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, Gray Television said Dish had decided to drop the stations after the two companies were unable to agree to a price for the stations.
But DISH spokesperson Courtney Culpepper disagreed with that characterization.
“Contrary to Gray Television’s statement today, DISH has not ‘decided to stop carrying’ the broadcaster’s signals,” she said in an email Tuesday afternoon. “Only Gray Television can force a blackout of its channels. With a deadline of January 17, ample time remains for parties to reach an agreement or extension, and DISH is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires.”
“DISH has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers,” she added.
She said Gray is trying to its viewers as “pawns in an effort to gain leverage for their own economic benefit.”
KXII-TV Vice President & General Manager said, “Under Federal Law, Dish Network can only carry our stations if both parties come to an agreement on the carriage terms. After weeks of negotiations with Dish, we presented them with a straightforward proposal based on terms accepted by its competitors. Dish told us they would not accept those terms. Therefore, they will be dropping our stations. Dish has a lot of experience in this area. In the last two years, it has dropped more than 200 local stations, and this week alone it has threatened to drop more than 100 additional TV stations. KXII-TV on the other hand has only gone dark once in its history.”
Ultimately, all that finger pointing proved moot after the two media companies reached an agreement and avoided an interruption in service for Dish customers.