Augusta Fox channel blocked for DISH customers

DISH customers across Augusta lost programming on Fox affiliate WFXG-TV 54 on Thursday as negotiations for a retransmission agreement have stalled between the satellite company and the channel’s parent company, Raycom Media.


Augusta is one of 36 markets where broadcast channels owned by Raycom Media have been blocked on DISH until the company agrees to pay a “massive price increase,” according to a statement released by DISH.

“DISH has offered to pay Raycom the same rates as our primary competitors; yet Raycom has stalled negotiations, refusing to accept that fair offer,” said DISH programming director Sruta Vootukuru.

Raycom is asking DISH to pay more than four times what the company does now, according to the statement.

Local DISH customers also are in danger of losing programming from ABC affiliate WJBF.

DISH released a statement June 27 warning viewers that the company was fighting a price hike with broadcaster Media General, which owns the broadcast channel. A 90-day extension was granted June 28 as the two companies continued negotiations.

Attempts to reach Raycom corporate representatives were not successful; however, a statement on the company’s Web site said it had been working with DISH for several months to resolve the issue.

“We understand that this is frustrating for DISH Network customers,” Raycom President and CEO Paul McTear said in the statement. “We share their frustration, and we are committed to doing everything we can do to resolve this issue.”