What is happening to KDRV NewsWatch 12 on DISH Network?
NewsWatch 12’s parent company, Heartland Media, and DISH Network are in the process of negotiating a renewal of the current retransmission agreement between NewsWatch 12 and DISH. This agreement expired on August 20, 2014, however NewsWatch 12 is being carried temporarily on DISH as we continue negotiations. Without an agreement, NewsWatch 12 will no longer be available on DISH. Over the past few weeks, NewsWatch 12’s owners have attempted to reach a new long-term agreement with DISH in the hopes of preventing any interruption of service for viewers. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move forward with Dish, little progress has been made.
Why can’t you reach an agreement?
For some reason, DISH Network has not been willing to negotiate appropriate market value retransmission compensation that other distributors are paying for NewsWatch 12’s content. Primarily, Heartland Media and DISH disagree on the value of NewsWatch 12’s programming and content. DISH Network resells this same content to you, the subscriber, yet refuses to compensate at a fair market value the highly rated and award-winning programming that NewsWatch 12 produces every day for its viewers.
Why should DISH Network have to pay to carry television stations that are available for free over-the-air?
NewsWatch 12 is available over-the-air for free to our viewers, but our signal is not free to pay services such as DISH Network that repackage our signals and sell them to their subscribers. In fact, the law requires cable and satellite providers to obtain consent for the right to carry broadcast stations and to compensate them in exchange for granting their consent.
Don’t television stations benefit from being available on satellite providers?
All channels benefit from being carried on a cable or satellite system. Cable and satellite systems like DISH Network generally pay for the right to carry stations and networks. We are simply asking to be treated fairly in being compensated. The right to request payment is something that the U.S. Congress has explicitly authorized.
Is there anything I can do to keep NewsWatch 12 on DISH Network?
The best thing you can do is to let DISH Network know that they need to keep local channels like NewsWatch 12 on their system to retain you as a customer. You have alternatives and you should let them know that you will use them if they don’t provide the same level of programming as their competition.
If this can’t be resolved and the stations aren’t carried on DISH Network, how can I watch NewsWatch 12?
Although we understand and apologize for the inconvenience caused by this to our viewers, you still have several ways to watch NewsWatch 12. NewsWatch 12 is available free over-the-air by antenna on channel 12.1, and on Charter Cable, DirecTV, Northland Communications for viewers in Siskiyou County, and Ashland Home Net for Ashland viewers. Most people have the option to use an antenna to receive NewsWatch 12 over-the-air for free. Alternatively you can cancel your DISH service and choose to go with one of DISH’s cable or satellite competitors.
How much money is involved?
The negotiations are still taking place, but what we can tell you is that the fees we’re requesting are a very small percentage of the average bill paid by DISH Network’s subscribers. Heartland Media is requesting to be paid far lower fees than what DISH currently pays for other lower rated programming. In fact, the “per subscriber” increase we are seeking for NewsWatch 12’s programming is about a penny a day. Dish Network wants to cut what they are currently paying NewsWatch 12 by 41%!
If the increase is that small why isn’t DISH Network agreeing to pay it?
That’s a great question, but you would have to ask DISH Network. In fact, we suggest you get in touch with them to ask them just that. Who wouldn’t agree to about a penny a day for your whole family to receive 24 hours a day of some of the most popular, widely watched programming on television? You can call DISH customer support at 1-800-333-3474.
What television stations are involved in this negotiation?
Heartland Media, and its subsidiary Oregon TV, LLC, owns KDRV-TV in Medford and KEZI-TV in Eugene. Both of these stations are involved in the negotiation process with DISH Network.