We work hard to keep you connected to your favorite channels and shows. You expect the best for your entertainment dollar and we’re here to help deliver the value and quality you deserve.
Programmers may temporarily pull their networks as a tactic to scare their viewers and the TV provider into paying whatever they demand. If this happens, we’ll provide alternatives to help you view the shows the networks pull from you.
Local TV stations charge us a monthly fee per customer to carry their stations. These stations are allowed to blackout their channel if we don’t agree to pay them increasingly higher fees.
The 1-2 punch of skyrocketing sports rights costs and the number of sports Networks have affected everyone’s bill.
A large part of your bill is the ever-increasing fees that the Networks demand to allow you to view their channels, and each channel charges a monthly fee per customer. We negotiate dozens of contracts each year, most of which go smoothly. But sometimes a Network will demand a big increase in its fees, which we think is unfair to you. In these cases, it’s our responsibility to take a stand to help protect you from excessive increases in your monthly bill. This is typically when a Network will black out its channel to try to get you to force us to pay more.
When disputes happen, it can be frustrating but know that we’re always fighting hard to keep your costs at a reasonable price.
We hope you stay because we negotiate on your behalf to give you the Networks you want at a fair price. Even on those rare occasions when Networks do pull their signal, they’re usually dark for only a short period of time.
Networks do this to try to get you to switch providers and get us to agree to their demands, and they do this with every TV provider: there were 165 blackouts in 2018 and 213 have been blacked out so far this year alone (ATVA).
FOX blacked out many cable networks and 17 stations. FOX is demanding big rate increases and DISH offered an extension but was turned down. “FOX had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up,” DISH said. “Instead, FOX chose to harm its viewers.”
Multiple FOX RSNs were pulled from DISH customers nationwide for over 2 months when DISH wouldn’t accept the, “unreasonable demands for the continued carriage of their stations.”
Altice/Optimum convinced FOX to keep their networks on while they continued negotiating but FOX pulled them for a short time to pressure them into an agreement.
AT&T and DIRECTV customers in 14 markets lost their CBS and The CW signals for 20 days. AT&T referred to CBS as a “repeat blackout offender” who regularly threatens to remove signals to get higher fees.
Meredith pulled 17 popular stations for over 2 months, even after DISH offered to keep the channels up while they reached a deal.
Nexstar blacked out 120 stations from AT&T and DIRECTV for 8 weeks because AT&T wouldn’t agree to their demands for, “… the largest increase that AT&T has ever seen from any content provider.”
Deerfield and Northwest pulled the signals to 17 stations and reportedly refused to negotiate with DIRECTV.
33 stations went dark for over a week because Charter demanded an increase of more than double the rate which, “…is more than we pay any other broadcaster,” Charter said.
Nexstar messaged early to customers to scare them and then pulled the signals in multiple markets for a month because TDS would agree to a 130% increase in fees.