Bonten Stations Dark on Dish

Local TV Outlets in Greenville, N.C. , Tri-Cities of Tenn./Va. Among Those Unavaible to DBS Provider's Subs

Station signals from Bonten Media stations are dark for Dish Network subscribers in several markets, including those from KTXS Abilene, WCTI-WFXI Greenville (NC) and WCYB-WEMT in the Tri-Cities (TN-VA).

Dish claims Bonten and operating agreement partner Esteem Broadcasting “continue to demand a 300% rate increase,” and turned down a short-term contract extension that would keep the channels on as the parties negotiate. 

“Dish has reached agreements with dozens of other broadcasters around the country in recent months, so we know with certainty that our offers have been reasonable and fair,” Dish said in a statement. “We will continue to try to reach an agreement with Bonten and Esteem, to return those local channels to DISH customers as soon as possible.”

Other affected markets are Butte-Bozeman and Missoula in Montana; Eureka and Chico-Redding, California; and San Angelo, Texas.

The WCYB website says, in part: “We are as disappointed as Dish subscribers that they have lost many of their favorite shows, along with local news and weather from News 5 WCYB. We would like to return WCYB, Fox Tri-Cities and Tri-Cities CW programming to Dish, if Dish would compensate us with a fair amount that totals just a few pennies a day per subscriber.”

Dish has had numerous retransmission fights with broadcasters result in signal blackouts, including Media General, Raycom, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Grant Communications, Sarkes Tarzian and Hoak Media.