Policy

Citadel Dish: Stations Unlikely To Return By Fall Season Debuts

8/26/2008 5:37 AM Eastern

A broadcaster told viewers Monday that it’s increasingly unlikely that its TV stations, dropped from Dish Network’s lineup Aug. 1, will be back on the satellite provider’s roster before the start of the new fall TV season and college football.


In a message on WOI-TV’s Web site, Citadel Communications said that despite “a lengthy conference call” Monday morning, no progress had been made in resolving its retransmission-consent dispute with Dish Network.

The satellite provider dropped four of Citadel’s stations more than three weeks ago as a result of the two sides failing to come to reach a retransmission-consent renewal. The standoff is about how much compensation Dish should pay to carry Citadel’s outlets.

Dish Network has claimed that Citadel “forced” it to remove WOI, an ABC affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa; WHBF, a CBS affiliate in Davenport, Iowa; KLKN, an ABC affiliate in Lincoln, Neb.; and KCAU, an ABC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, from its roster.

“We once again attempted to reason with Dish executives in a good faith manner,” Citadel president Ray Cole said in his message on WOI’s web site Monday. “I am disappointed to report, however, that the Dish Network continues to be inflexible and appears to have drawn a line in the sand...a line which makes it increasingly doubtful that we can reach a fair and equitable agreement prior to the start of 1) the new fall primetime schedule, 2) the college football season, and 3) the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase.”

The same day it dropped the Citadel’s stations, Dish Network also dropped Gol TV when it failed to reach a contract renewal with the sports programmer. The cable network also remains off Dish’s program lineup.

Cole, advising Dish customers to consider switching to cable or DirecTV, noted that the season premiere’s of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing With The Stars and Boston Legal are looming.

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