KATU parent Fisher Communications in contract dispute with satellite provider, signal interrupted for DISH customers
The contract for DISH Network to carry Portland's KATU-TV (and other Fisher Communications stations in respective markets) ended at 11:00pm yesterday (17 December 2008). As of a few hours ago, customers of DISH Network tuning in to the local ABC affiliate are seeing a message from DISH Network's SVP of Programming explaining the situation and suggesting alternative stations to view local programming. Read a DISH Networks statement.
KATU.com has a message from station management explaining Channel 2's position on the dispute. The statement reads, in part:
"We believe DISH should be willing to pay a small portion of the fees you pay to DISH for the program content we provide to you."KATU-TV statement.
Other stations have had similar contract disputes with the Echostar-owned satellite provider. One dispute, involving Young Broadcasting (i.e. KRON-TV, San Francisco) was recently resolved. No word on the terms of this settlement.
This got me thinking...
A) Do you receive programming via. DISH Networks?
B) Do you care that you are currently without your Fisher-owned stations?
C) Who, in your take, is at fault here?
Will Portland's DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES drag out the LOST rabbit ears to VIEW the upcoming premiere of THE BACHELOR?? [...rimshot!]
Of course, being your always-helpful tech expert... I've got some handy tips to keep watching your favorite ABC network and local affiliate programs:
- For those without ABC-affiliates KOMO-TV (SEA) or KATU-TV (PDX), many local newscasts (incl. the Portland talk show "AM Northwest" on which I am a frequent guest talking technology) are available at the stations' respective website.
- Rabbit ear antennas will provide a temporary workaround for those who can receive an over-the-air signal in their area. This solution may not work without a converter box after Feb. 17 (I'd guess/hope this issue will be resolved prior to the DTV conversion date), but could get you by for now.
- Comcast customers and DirecTV subscribers are not affected. (I'm NOT advocating a switch, but some upset DISH Network customers are considering the move -- and it is, in fact, an option.)