Fee dispute could knock WJHL off Dish

Hank Hayes • Jun 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Dish Network and Johnson City-based CBS affiliate WJHL are in a fee dispute that could knock WJHL out of Dish Network’s local TV offerings. Dish Network claims that Richmond, Va.-based Media General, WJHL’s parent company, won’t agree to what it called a “massive price increase.” “We understand that our customers in the Tri-Cities area want their full local programming, and we are working around the clock to try to make that happen,” Sruta Vootukuru, Dish director of programming, said in a prepared release. “Media General’s demand is well above market increases. DISH will continue to fight on behalf of our customers to keep programming fees fair and as low as possible.”Dish also claimed increased costs often force distributors like DISH to raise monthly subscription fees for customers. WHJL blames Dish in the dispute and says on its Web site ( www.wjhl.com? ) that the deadline for reaching an agreement is 11:59 p.m. on June 30.“If no deal is reached by the deadline, at midnight July 1, 2013, you could lose the shows, sports and local news you rely on and which you are paying for,” WJHL claims. WJHL adds that most viewers will be able to receive the station in HD for free by using a basic over-the-air antenna.

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