West Virginia Media, Dish Disconnect in Retrans Dispute7/01/2012 8:34 AM Eastern
West Virginia Media Holdings and Dish Network failed to reach a retransmission-consent renewal deal resulting in the loss of four stations in that state to subscribers of the DBS provider.
Dish issued a statement early Sunday morning indicating that negotiations had failed and West Virginia Media has pulled the signals of WBOY in Clarksburg, WOWK in Charleston, WVNS in Bluefield and WTRF in Wheeling.
The No. 2 DBS provider, which just dropped AMC Networks' AMC, IFC and WeTV from its lineup, said it has been in negotiations with West Virginia Media for weeks, but the station owner has sought an increase of 200%.
"We are disappointed that West Virginia Media has chosen to be so unreasonable in their demands, and we think West Virginia Media has done a disservice to its communities by making the news content unavailable at a time when the viewers need their news the most," said Andrew LeCuyer, vice president of programming for Dish in a statement.
Severe weather conditions and extended power outages have resulted in a state of emergency in West Virginia. Despite the conditions, Dish said West Virginia Media made a take-it-or-leave-it offer, refusing to consider alternative proposals. LeCuyer also said Dish had made several extension offers, all of which were denied by the company, which also publishes the weekly Statewide Journal and the quarterly Country Roads Journal.
The station owner could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday morning.