Dish reaches deal on WRDW; WJBF still blocked



Dish Network has reached an agreement to keep a local channel on the air, but efforts to lift a blackout of ABC affiliate WJBF-TV 6 remain stalled.

On Friday, the satellite provider announced viewers will continue to receive programming for CBS affiliate WRDW-TV 12 after the signing of a long-term
retransmission agreement with Gray TV. Augusta was one of 30 markets affected in the deal.

However, Dish is still battling Media General over what it has called a “massive price increase,” leading to the blackout of WJBF and TV content in 16 other markets since Oct. 1.

Dish filed a complaint Fri­day with the Federal Com­mu­nications Commission to request that Media General immediately begin negotiating in good faith for a retransmission deal to resolve the blackout, according to a Dish news release.

Dish Executive Vice Pres­i­dent Dave Shull alleged that Media General waited 11 days after programming was blocked
before responding to Dish’s pre-blackout offer. Dish has since presented a counteroffer without a response from Media General.

The companies have been negotiating since June, after Virginia-based Media General announced a merger with Young Broadcasting, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Attempts to reach Media General for comment Friday were not immediately successful.

A similar retransmission issue between Dish and Ray­com Me­dia was settled Aug. 9 with an undisclosed agreement. Because of the standoff, Dish customers in the area lost access to Fox affiliate WFXG-TV 54 for about a week.

Dish also had problems negotiating last December with Schurz Commun­ications, affecting NBC affiliate WAGT-TV 26, but a compromise was reached within days.

WJBF blocked on DISH
Augusta Fox channel blocked for DISH customers
Local Dish customers could lose WJBF access
Dish Network blackout of WAGT avoided
Augusta-area Dish Network customers could lose local NBC station


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