Binding arbitration presents path to end Tribune’s blackout
immediately, and would ensure ‘Fair Market Rates’ for Tribune, says
- Arbitration proposal modeled after Comcast/NBCU consent decree
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DISH Network L.L.C. responded to Tribune Broadcasting’s rejection
Thursday of a proposal to pursue an immediate, fair and binding solution
to restore its blacked-out channels to DISH subscribers.
Tribune blacked out DISH customer access to 42 local channels in 33
markets early Sunday evening.
The following statements can be attributed to Warren Schlichting, DISH
executive vice president Programming:
“Tribune claims that it is ‘seeking nothing more than fair market rates
for the value of [its] programming – the same market rates that DISH
pays other local station groups, and the same market rates that [it
gets] from other satellite, cable and telco partners.’
“If Tribune is serious in its commitment to accept fair market rates,
then there is no downside for them to immediately restore the Tribune
channels on DISH while allowing a neutral third-party arbitrator to
review DISH’s agreements with other station groups, as well as the rates
that Tribune receives from our pay-TV competitors and determine the fair
market rates that Tribune desires on a basis that is binding upon DISH
“This is especially true since DISH has offered to retroactively pay any
new rates back to the date that the channels are restored to consumers.”
Among other reasons, DISH has suggested that the arbitration be modeled
on the successful arbitration procedures in the Comcast/NBCU consent
decree to ensure that there would not be an opportunity for Tribune or
DISH to walk away from the decision of the arbitrator.
“Regrettably, we can only interpret Tribune’s unwillingness to
participate in binding arbitration as an indication that it actually is
angling for rates that are above fair market and that it wants to keep
the Tribune channels off DISH as long as possible in order to continue
to use innocent consumers as pawns to gain negotiating leverage against
In the meantime, DISH continues to fight for customers by distributing
tens of thousands of free over-the-air antennas to help impacted
consumers regain access to the Tribune local broadcast stations.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides
approximately 13.874 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2016,
with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most
choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with
more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and
award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a
Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.
DISH Network Corp.
John Hall, 720-514-5351