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Dish Networks Handing Out Free HD Antennas Again

Phillip Dampier August 17, 2017 Consumer News, Dish Network 1 Comment

Dish Network satellite customers in Providence, R.I. are being offered free over-the-air digital antennas in preparation for another retransmission consent dispute with the area’s local ABC station.

Citadel Communications-owned WLNE-TV (6) is warning its contract to allow its signal to be carried over the satellite service expires Friday, Aug. 18 at 7 pm. With negotiations still ongoing, Dish is offering its Providence subscribers free installation of a free antenna to receive local Providence over the air stations if they also agree to cancel Dish’s local station add-on package (just under $10/month).

“We’ve been actively working to negotiate an agreement that keeps ABC6 available on Dish, but Citadel’s unbending attitude and outrageous demands show that this broadcaster has no intention of coming to a deal,” said Dish executive vice president of marketing, programming and media sales Warren Schlichting.

More and more consumers are amenable to switching back to free over the air reception to combat rising subscription costs, and providers are finding new ways to accommodate their customers, even at the risk of losing add-on fees from canceled local station packages.

Providence, R.I.

With local television station retransmission consent fees rising faster than other cable and satellite programming fees, some providers would prefer to drop local stations but cannot without alienating customers. The biggest impediment to getting customers to switch to over-the-air reception is signal quality.

In some markets, local station reception can vary considerably depending on where the customer watches. Digital reception problems cause pixelation and picture freezes, and correcting these can require regular antenna repositioning or an outdoor antenna, especially in fringe reception areas.

In Providence, several thousand Dish customers have switched back to over the air reception after being offered a free antenna, which offers as many as 45 free broadcast TV channels from Rhode Island and adjacent markets.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Ronald says:

    How long until those customers realize they get most of the good stuff with just the antenna, and decide they don’t need Dish anymore?







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  • Paul Houle: I can believe in AT&T's plan, but not Comcast. For better or worse, AT&T is going "all in" on video and is unlike other major providers in ...
  • Phillip Dampier: Yes, that battle with Northwest Broadcasting, which also involved stations in Idaho-Wyoming and California, was the nastiest in recent history, with s...
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