November 11, 2022
DISH Network and WLNE have reached an impasse in negotiating a renewal of the agreement that provides for carriage of the station on DISH Network’s satellite system. As a result, WLNE is no longer being carried by DISH as of 7:00 p.m. ET on November 11, 2022.
The loss of our station on DISH is solely DISH’s decision. In fact, in an effort to ensure that our valuable programming remains available to DISH customers while we continue to negotiate, we have offered DISH an extension of our current agreement. Unfortunately and inexplicably, DISH refuses to agree to this extension. Instead, DISH prefers to take down our station – denying you access to your local news, sports, and weather.
Every three years, we negotiate with multichannel video programming distributors to carry our broadcast signal. These include video providers such as DIRECTV, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Cox Communications. We have negotiated long-term agreements with each of these entities. Those providers recognize the value of WLNE’s award-winning local news and the highly-rated programming offered by ABC, such as Grey’s Anatomy and ABC News. Additionally, WLNE provides important coverage of dangerous weather conditions, road closures, school and business closures, and more.
While we had hoped to conclude a new agreement with DISH without disruption, that has not happened. DISH has not only chosen not to agree to an extension of the current agreement but also continues to insist on new material terms and conditions, including economic terms, that undervalue our station, including the important role we perform during major news and weather events.
Our station cannot and will not be pressured into making bad business decisions by DISH, a multi-billion-dollar company. Making such bad business decisions would be wrong for our station—and our viewers—as it would negatively impact our ability to produce the local news, sports, and severe weather coverage, as well as provide ABC shows, that you have come to expect and depend upon from WLNE ABC 6.
We will continue to negotiate with DISH in the hope that DISH will see the true value our station brings to you and the people who live in this area.
As a DISH customer, we know you are frustrated with this situation. Unfortunately, when we are involved in a business matter like this, it impacts you. That part is very difficult for us because it is the last thing we want to happen. We want our programming to be there for you; and, right now, our programming is not available on DISH Network. For that, we apologize.
Despite what DISH might say, though, we have not “blacked out” our station. WLNE ABC 6 is available over the air via an antenna. In addition, WLNE ABC 6 remains available on DIRECTV and on other local cable operators.
To contact DISH Network to voice your concerns, you can call DISH at 800-333-3474.
Thank you for your support.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is this all about?
A federal law first enacted in 1992 allows television stations to negotiate the terms of carriage, including compensation, from multichannel video programming distributors such as DISH. WLNE’s parent company and DISH Network were in the process of negotiating a renewal of the agreement that grants DISH the right to carry the station. That agreement expired in August 2021, and WLNE offered DISH multiple extensions to attempt to complete a new deal. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move forward with DISH, little progress was made.
Why can’t you reach an agreement?
DISH has refused to negotiate appropriate market value retransmission compensation for WLNE. DISH believes that it should pay far less than every other video provider for our highly rated and award-winning news, weather coverage, and ABC network programming such as Grey’s Anatomy and ABC News.
Why should DISH have to pay to carry television stations that are available for free over the air?
WLNE is available over the air for free to our viewers, but our signal is not free to subscriber-based services such as DISH Network that repackage our signal and sell them to their subscribers at a profit. In fact, the law requires DISH Network to obtain a retransmission consent agreement to carry our station and to negotiate in good faith with us in exchange for granting our consent.
Are these disputes common with DISH?
Unfortunately, yes. Over the past several years, DISH has had disputes with hundreds of local television stations. While the length of these disputes has varied, DISH has had some disputes that have lasted for months.
How can I find your station?
WLNE continues to be available over the air with an antenna and is also available on all other multichannel video programming distributors in the area, including; DIRECTV, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Cox Communications.
What can I do to help get WLNE back on DISH?
The best thing you can do is to let DISH Network know how much you value WLNE and that they need to keep local channels like WLNE on their system to retain you as a customer. DISH Network can be reached at (800) 333-3474.
Can I contact WLNE?
Yes, of course. We encourage our viewers to give us input and allow us to answer your questions. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, 9a-5p, except on holidays. If we are not here, leave a message and we will call you back. Our office number is 401-453-8000. We look forward to talking with any DISH subscriber one-on-one and sharing our side of the story.
Press Release – November 11, 2022