Reno, Chattanooga Stations Go Dark on Dish


Dish Network customers in parts of Nevada and Tennessee lost access to two television stations owned by Sarkes Tarzian on Oct. 31, after the parties could not hammer out a retransmission consent deal.
Reno, Nev., CBS affiliate KTVN and Chattanooga, Tenn., NBC affiliate WRCB went dark to the satellite giant's customers at around 12 a.m. Mountain Time on Oct. 31.
On its web site, KTVN said it is still negotiating with Dish to hammer out a carriage agreement and that the satellite giant rejected an unconditional extension offer to keep the station on the air through November while talks continued.
"Dish has unilaterally rejected the extension," KTVN said on its web site. "It is Dish's choice that you no longer have KTVN in your program lineup."
Also on its site, KTVN said that Dish has maintained it will pay no more than about 1 cent per subscriber per day for the channel.
"We think you'll agree that KTVN's local news and information programming and our CBS programming is worth at least 2 cents a day," the channel stated on its website.
The same information was echoed on the WRCB website.
Dish declined to discuss contract terms, but said that the stations are demanding a hefty increase in fees.
"Sarkes Tarzian is demanding an outrageous price increase of 288% to continue carriage of its local channel," Dish said in a statement. "It is disingenuous to claim it's pennies more per day. The reality is Sarkes is demanding millions of dollars more beyond what Dish Network pays today to Sarkes over the life of the contract."
Dish added that it offered its own contract extension to the station group, but was rejected. "We will continue to work diligently for reasonable rates and remain hopeful we can reach a fair agreement," Dish continued.