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Pay TV battle turning bitter; no agreement reached

Associated Press
March 7, 2011
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A battle over fees between Dish Network and television station owner Lin TV Corp. caused 27 local stations to go dark for Dish subscribers Saturday.

The two companies faced a deadline that came and went at 2 a.m. Saturday without a resolution. Among those affected by the conflict were Indianapolis stations WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV.

The companies traded accusations and gave conflicting versions of which pulled the plug.

Dish Network Corp. said Lin pulled its channels down at midnight, "holding viewers in 17 markets ... hostage" to coerce Dish to submit to Lin's demands for higher rates and that it refused to negotiate during the final hours.

Lin said it has "worked tirelessly" to negotiate with Dish. Lin also said that Dish removed the signals over its objection.

Both companies said negotiations were ongoing Saturday.

WISH-TV, the local CBS affiliate, posted a letter on its Web site that blamed Dish for the disruption. "We will continue to negotiate with DISH. Unfortunately, we do not know if, or when, we will reach an agreement," the letter says.

Neither side has said how many subscribers are affected. Lin stations are affiliates of CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and the CW in 17 cities including Indianapolis; Providence, R.I.; and Buffalo, N.Y.

Such disputes have become increasingly common.

In October, a breakdown in negotiations between Cablevision Systems Corp. and News Corp.'s Fox network left 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area without Fox programming for 15 days — including through two World Series games — after the broadcaster pulled its signal.

Lin is based in Providence. Dish Network Corp. is headquartered in Englewood, Colo.

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  • Won't be changing anything.
    Looks like I will learn to live without WISH and WNDY...have other local channels and it will be fine...need to watch less TV anyway!
  • Be Ware
    For those thinking of jumping to another provider - it can happen to them too!
  • Why pay?
    Not missing a thing here, no cable, no dish, just a plain antenna. I have much better things to spend my money on!
  • Over the air antennae
    I am not missing a thing since I have an over the air antennae. It is a good backup when weather is bad.
  • STUPIDITY
    They better get an agreement soon, or I for one will be switching my cable provider. With the NCAA tourney starting I will not miss games because of this nonsense!!!
  • Greed
    Look's like CBS and WISH TV are being greedy. Both sides need to consider the customer base. Wouldn't surprise me if COMCAST doesnâ??t have a player in the background.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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