Grant Communications Stations Remain Dark for Dish Subs

Retrans Stalemate Affects Roanoke, Huntsville, Other Markets as Daytona 500 Looms

A dispute over retransmission consent terms between Grant Communications and Dish Network has shut off the Grant stations' signal in Roanoke, Huntsville, Davenport and LaCrosse (Wis.).

Four Fox affiliates, two CW outlets and one MyNetworkTV station are affected, as the station signals went dark early in the morning Feb. 16 Looming for Fox affiliates is the potential to miss the presentation of the Daytona 500 telecast Feb 24.

A statement on the WZDX Huntsville homepage read in part: "Please rest assured our entire management staffs are working around the clock, trying to come to an agreement with the Dish Network comparable to all our other cable agreements. However, Dish continues to not answer our phone calls or meet with our negotiating team, dragging out the process at their own pace."

"We are disappointed that Grant has chosen to be unreasonable in its demands, as many Dish customers in the Grant markets enjoy their Fox programming," said Sruta Vootukuru, Dish director of programming. "Grant's request that Dish pay three times what it paid just over a year ago is well beyond market rates, and we hope Grant will become more reasonable so we can make these channels available to our customers."

Said Debbie Reardon, Grant's director of marketing, "We hope to have a solution at any moment."