Hearst Television said it has granted Dish Network a 48-hour extension to hammer out a retransmission consent agreement and avoid the blackout of about 33 stations in 26 markets.
On its station websites, Hearst said it offered and agreed to the extension to March 3 in the hope that it could reach a deal, but added that unless Dish softens its stance, it isn’t too optimistic.
“While we are hopeful that we and Dish Network can conclude our negotiations before March 3rd, we remain concerned by Dish’s demands, which include material terms that are less favorable than our current agreement,” Hearst said on its station sites. “Hearst Television has made significant investments to deliver top quality programming to our viewers and Dish is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable.”
Dish has pointed out that it has reached hundreds of retrans deals with other station owners without a disruption in service.
The original agreement was set to expire on March 1.
Hearst TV owns stations in 26 markets across the country that it says reach about 21 million TV households. Those markets include Boston (ABC affiliate WCVB); Pittsburgh (ABC affiliate WTAE); New Orleans (NBC affiliate WDSU); Baltimore (NBC affiliate WBAL); Louisville, Ky. (CBS affiliate WLKY); and Orlando, Fla. (NBC affiliate WESH).