Dish-TV drops WSB-TV for the second time in three years over fee dispute

Last time around, WSB-TV was off Dish for four months in 2020.

Here we go again.

Dish-TV has taken WSB-TV off its airwaves for metro Atlanta subscribers as both sides failed to come to a new agreement.

“With this move, Dish has once again punished its own customers and WSB-TV consumers by depriving them of access to critical local news, emergency weather and traffic information, popular sports and other local and national network programming,” WSB-TV said in a press release.

Paul Curran, EVP of Television, Cox Media Group, added: “To keep our stations on the Dish platform, we offered Dish an extension of our current agreement with no strings attached, but Dish refused. We’re simply asking Dish to agree to a fair-market deal that is consistent to what their competitors have agreed without any interruption of service to consumers.”

A Dish spokeswoman has not yet responded to a request for comment.

A similar blackout happened in 2020 as well when WSB-TV was off the air for Dish-TV subscribers for four months.

This current blackout also impacts 13 other Cox Media Group television stations in cities like Boston, Pittsburgh and Orlando, Florida.

Such disputes have popped up more often in recent years between satellite and cable distributors and content providers as the pool of customers shrinks and more people rely on streaming services instead.

Dish does not publicize subscriber numbers in particular markets but in the entire country, about 7.8 million people used Dish in the second quarter, down from 11.9 million five years ago.

Here are the other stations affected:

Boston (#10), WFXT (FOX)

Seattle-Tacoma (#12), KIRO (CBS)

Pittsburgh (#16), WPXI (NBC)

Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne (#17), WFTV (ABC), WRDQ (independent)

Charlotte (#22), WSOC (ABC/Telemundo (DT2)), WAXN (independent)

Jacksonville (#43), WFOX (Fox/Telemundo (DT4)), WJAX (CBS, owned by Hoffman Communications, Inc., Cox-operated)

Dayton (#65), WHIO (CBS)

Eugene (#113), KSLR (CBS), KEVU (MyNetworkTV)

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