Dish Network, Sinclair Broadcast Settle Differences
A heated and public battle over retransmission fees ends without a disruption in service.
Dish Network will continue delivering to its customers the broadcast TV content of Sinclair Broadcast Group as the feuding companies iron out details of a final agreement.
Sinclair and Dish had been fighting a war of words in public as they negotiated a news retransmission deal, and some Dish customers were warned they could lose access beginning Thursday to some of the most popular channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
Instead, the two came to an agreement in principle on retransmission fees that extends their existing deal for two weeks, at the end of which they are expected to ink a longer-lasting solution.
Dish services about 14.1 million satellite TV subscribers in the U.S and Sinclair owns or services 74 broadcast TV stations in 45 markets.
The pair's negotiating strategy included issuing some nasty statements about one another, including Dish accusing Sinclair of "corporate greed" and Sinclair saying that Dish operates with a "flawed business model" and its customers should instead use DirecTV, FiOs, U-verse or cable.
Sinclair's more subdued statement on Thursday simply stated it "is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement in principle with Dish Network on a new retransmission consent agreement and has entered into a two week extension of its existing agreement in order to allow the parties to work toward a final agreement. We thank our viewers for their patience and support during these negotiations."