DISH customers could lose TV20, CW as result of dispute


Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 3:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 3:51 p.m.

DISH satellite TV subscribers might lose ABC affiliate WCJB TV20 and Gainesville CW starting at midnight Monday night in a dispute over retransmission fees.

DISH and Diversified Communications, which owns the two stations, are blaming each other for the impasse and are urging viewers to pressure the other company to come to a resolution.

In a news release, DISH said Diversified rejected its offer to match the rates paid by its competitors and is demanding a 350 percent increase over current rates.

Carolyn Barrett, WCJB president and general manager, said fee rates are confidential, but “when dealing with very small amounts of money, percentages are very deceiving.”

“We continue to work toward a fair resolution,” she said.

“We’re very frustrated and disappointed, and we will continue to give it our best effort to prevent it.”

In addition to its local news broadcast, WCJB carries ABC shows such as “Dancing With the Stars,” “Modern Family,” “Scandal” and the new “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”

The local stations will continue to be available through other cable and satellite providers and are available free over the air on channels 20.1 and 20.2 for viewers with HD antennas.

The Diversified channels were blacked out on DirecTV during a similar dispute from June 5 to July 3 last year, encompassing the NBA Finals.

DISH and other pay-TV providers have been lobbying Congress to allow them to substitute another broadcast station during contract negotiations.

Barrett said affiliation agreements with the networks, similar to franchise rights, currently prohibit that.

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