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WJHL cut from DISH Network

October 1st, 2013 7:47 am by Hank Hayes

WJHL cut from DISH Network

MGN online graphic

JOHNSON CITY  —   CBS affiliate WJHL-TV has been cut out of DISH Network’s local TV schedule for now.

DISH and the TV station’s owner, Richmond-based Media General, were unable to meet a Tuesday midnight deadline on a new contract agreement.

 “We’ve attempted to reach a fair agreement via many avenues, but Media General remains immovable in its demands,” Sruta Vootukuru, DISH director of programming, said in a prepared release. “They declined a contract extension, an offer from DISH to pay our competitors’ rates, and have now refused our willingness to match rates paid to other area broadcasters. Media General is overreaching by trying to force DISH customers to pay more than their neighbors.”

The DISH release said Media General rejected its offer of a short-term contract extension until Media General is acquired by Young Broadcasting, a broadcaster with which DISH has a long-term agreement in place. Young Broadcasting is headquartered in New York, but also owns local television stations in more than a dozen U.S. markets,  including Nashville and Knoxville.

DISH charges Media General wanted “five times” what it paid in the former contract agreement.

More than a dozen Media General stations in Southeast markets are affected by the negotiations.

WJHL says most viewers will be able to receive the station in high definition for free by using a basic over-the-air antenna.

DISH’s side of the negotiations is available at www.fairsatellite.com.  WJHL’s position is available at www.wjhl.com.

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