Peachtree TV, the Atlanta independent television station owned by Turner Broadcasting System, went dark to Dish Network customers on Jan. 26 after the two companies could not reach a retransmission consent agreement.
"We are disappointed in the outcome of our negotiations, especially since we have successfully reached agreements with every major cable and satellite company that recognizes our fair market value," WPCH said in a statement. "The fact is that we are only asking Dish Network for pennies a day from your bill for our programming. Without fair and equitable treatment, local TV stations will not be able to continue to provide top quality news, sports, entertainment, and other local programming that is most important to you."
WPCH carries programming such as Big Bang Theory, The Office, and Meet the Browns, as well as Southeastern Conference (SEC) football and basketball games and Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball games.
Dish disputed WPCH's claims in its own statement.
"Turner Broadcasting, the owner of WPCH in Atlanta, opted not to renew its carriage rights with DishNetwork, and now Turner is making outrageous demands in exchange for Dish Network's ability to continue providing that channel to Dish customers," Dish said in a statement. "We are determined to hold the line against unreasonable costs, so that we can protect our customers against the same. Management at WPCH describes its request as simply ‘pennies per day,' but that's like demanding $12 for a gallon of milk and then claiming it is only ‘pennies per sip.' Those costs add up in a hurry. We have successfully negotiated retransmission consent agreements with dozens of other broadcasters in recent weeks, and thousands over the years; so we know with certainty that our offers have been fair and reasonable. Turner has been neither fair nor reasonable."
"We will continue to negotiate with Dish Network," the station continued. "Unfortunately, we do not know if, or when, we will reach an agreement."
Peachtree TV was formed in 2007 after Turner rebranded the station, changing its call letters from WTBS. In January 2011, Turner announced it would hand over management of the station to Meredith Corp., which also owns the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, WGCL. Turner retained the station's broadcast license.