Dish Network has asked Tribune Media to submit to baseball-style arbitration to settle their days-long retransmission-consent dispute, a move that would restore Tribune's channels while talks continue.
About 42 Tribune stations in 33 markets went dark to Dish customers at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Dish has complained that the broadcaster is asking for an exorbitant rate hike and extended carriage for its WGN America cable channel while Tribune argues it is merely asking for fair market value for its content.
"We want to return these local stations to our customers immediately, and binding, baseball-style arbitration offers a path to reach a fair deal and to serve the best interests of our customers," said Dish executive vice president of programming Warren Schlichting in a statement.
In the meantime, Dish continues to hand out "tens of thousands" of free over-the-air antennas to customers affected by the blackout.
"Our solution to offer free over-the-air antennas to impacted consumers has been tremendously successful, and provided consumers with a meaningful option to fight back against the unreasonable demands of broadcasters whose primary goal should be to serve the very consumers that they are using as pawns to gain negotiating leverage," Schlichting continued in his statement.