ENGLEWOOD, Colo., July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- International private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, today blacked out DISH customers' access to its local channels in 10 markets.
"We don't understand why Apollo is choosing to put customers in the middle of its negotiations, especially during a global pandemic when customers need access to local news and programming," said Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of programming. "We have offered to apply our current agreement — with higher rates — to keep their channels available and avoid any service interruption while we continue to negotiate, but they refused, demanding a 40-percent increase to rates agreed to last year. We want to come to a long-term agreement that is fair for our customers."
DISH and Apollo have ongoing litigation about whether DISH's carriage agreement for the Cox stations was prematurely terminated when Apollo acquired those stations. In January, the Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court entered a temporary restraining order that enjoined Apollo from interfering with DISH's right to retransmit the Cox stations under the original Cox agreement. The case was later transferred to federal court and, earlier today, the federal court dissolved the temporary restraining order.
DISH requested Apollo's consent to allow the stations to remain on the air after dissolution of the temporary restraining order, but Apollo rejected DISH's request — even though DISH offered to pay increased rates for the stations going forward, and to true-up any amounts found owing if Apollo ultimately prevails in the parties' litigation. Apollo's decision to black out its channels inhibits customers from getting their local programming as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the nation. DISH has worked with the owners of 49 stations who have all agreed to set aside contractual disputes and accept comparable offers to keep local stations on the air, given the current pandemic situation and the resulting harm blackouts would cause consumers.
Apollo's action affects viewers of local stations in the following markets:
- WSB-TV, Channel 2 (ABC, Atlanta, GA)
- WFXT-TV, Channel 25 (FOX, Boston, MA)
- WSOC-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Charlotte, NC)
- WAXN-TV, Channel 64 (IND, Charlotte, NC)
- WHIO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Dayton, OH)
- WFOX-TV, Channel 30 (FOX, Jacksonville, FL)
- WFOX2-TV, Channel 32 (MNT, Jacksonville, FL)
- WHBQ-TV, Channel 13 (FOX, Memphis, TN)
- WFTV-TV, Channel 9 (ABC, Orlando, FL)
- WRDQ-TV, Channel 27 (IND, Orlando, FL)
- WPXI-TV, Channel 11 (NBC, Pittsburg, PA)
- KIRO-TV, Channel 7 (CBS, Seattle, WA)
- KOKI-TV, Channel 23 (FOX, Tulsa, OK)
- KMYT-TV, Channel 41 (MNT, Tulsa, OK)
DISH customers can visit DISHPromise.com for more information.
DISH Network Corporation is a connectivity company. Since 1980, it has served as a disruptive force, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers with its satellite DISH TV and streaming SLING TV services. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. DISH continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, standalone 5G broadband network. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is a Fortune 250 company.
SOURCE DISH Network Corporation