In the latest skirmish between Dish Network and basically everybody, everywhere, subscribers to the satellite provider have lost access to local channels in 38 different markets. Those channels are operated by Tegna, a Virginia-based company that owns network affiliates in 33 states, and which has gotten into a multi-million dollar tiff with Dish about retransmission rights for local content.
Following its usual M.O., Dish has deployed its highest quality finger-pointing to cope with the conflict, calling out Tegna for denying its customers access to their beloved shows. “Tegna had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving the channels up,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish senior vice president of Programming and We Swear It’s Not Our Fault. “Instead, Tegna chose to turn its back on its public interest obligations and use innocent consumers as bargaining chips,” he added, presumably while posing for his Guinness World Record photo for “The Gall On This Guy, Biggest Extant.”
Tegna then fired back at Dish, calling it a “serial dropper of channels,” in what we’re just going to assume is a real burn if you’re a TV provider. The company also noted in a statement that Dish is “preventing its customers from accessing valued channels, even as customers continue to pay for that content.” So yeah, it’s yet another Dish Network fight where everyone involved comes out looking good, except for customers, who look “some combination of enraged and learnedly helpless.” But hey, at least Dish isn’t telling them to “Just go on iTunes and buy stuff” this time, so that’s a start!