DISH Network Corporation [NASDAQ: DISH] disclosed that Tegna has excluded its local stations from nearly 3 million DISH TV clients in 53 markets all over the country. DISH revealed that Tegna has charged a huge fee increase and instead of considering customers’ needs Tegna decided to choose to use customers as negotiation leverage.
In the beginning of 2000, broadcasters like Tegna starting requiring cable and satellite companies to offer their “free” local station signals to the public. This new revenue stream for broadcasters amount to a few million dollars in 2006 but has increased to more than $12 billion dollars today. DISH disclosed that free local programming has actually become a multi-billion-dollar industry for correspondent and a tax on American consumers. And now, Tegna trying to increase this tax.
Furthermore, DISH TV revealed that Tegna is insisting that the firm pays for 100% of its subscribers in their markets, irrespective of whether these subscribers receive or want Tegna’s programming. As one of the nation’s largest local station owners, they are more turned towards increasing their bottom line by pricing DISH’s customers more money than delivering programming to viewers under reasonable terms.
In addition, DISH disclosed that it has made a favorable offer to keep Tegna stations available to its customers, but Tegna denied the offer and decided to exclude its channels. DISH insists that Tegna is trying to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply exploring ways to take advantage of DISH customers as a way to get the maximum price and further beef up their wallets.