While terms were not disclosed, Dish Network and Gannett were able to reach an agreement to keep Dish from losing Gannett channels, including ABC, CBS and NBC-affiliated stations in 19 cities. The two companies had a deal in place that expired at midnight on Sunday, but the two were able to reach an agreement on Monday.
Dish Network issued the following statement regarding the situation: “We can confirm that DISH Network and Gannett have reached a long-term agreement regarding DISH Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett’s Stations.”
Gannett issues a similar statement, simply saying, “Gannett and DISH Network have reached an agreement regarding DISH Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
While TV networks and distributors frequently bicker over affiliate fees, the negotiations between Gannett and Dish were complicated by Auto Hop, a feature that Dish introduced in May on its latest digital video recorder. The feature, which makes it easier for Dish subscribers to skip commercials, has sparked protest from broadcasters worried that the service will make their content less valuable to advertisers.
Gannett said it had sought a “fair, market-based deal” with increased rates to help offset lost advertising revenue because of Auto Hop. Dish, meanwhile, said Gannett had asked for a 300% rate increase, even though its own offer was “more than 200% above current rates,” and in line with its “closest direct competitor.”
Losing Gannett channels could have been devastating for Dish Network, who has already upset a number of subscribers by losing AMC, which airs such popular shows as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead, which is getting ready to begin its highly anticipated third season.
AMC, meanwhile, is taking every chance it can to remind fans that Dish does not carry AMC, suggesting that they change providers ahead of the upcoming Walking Dead season. AMC is even going so far as to offer the first episode of the season for free in an online stream for Dish Network customers.