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Frontier Dumping Sinclair’s TV Stations, Tennis Channel in Retransmission Fee Dispute

Phillip Dampier December 21, 2016 Consumer News, Frontier 23 Comments

Frontier Communications has told Sinclair Broadcast Group the asking price to renew carriage of the Tennis Channel and several Sinclair over-the-air stations is too rich for their blood, and as a result will drop the channels Jan. 1, 2017.

The most affected network will be Sinclair’s Tennis Channel, which is seen in several hundred thousand homes subscribed to Frontier FiOS, U-verse, or its new IPTV service Vantage TV.

“We are not close,” Barry Faber, Sinclair’s executive vice president and general counsel, told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations in the country — owning or operating 173 stations in 81 cities. But only a handful are threatened by this contract dispute:

Market Station/Affiliation Channel SD/HD​
Portland, OR KATU: ABC ​2/502
KATU: MeTV 463
KATU: Comet ​466
Seattle, WA​ KOMO: ABC 4/504
KOMO: Comet 464
KOMO: Grit 465
Raleigh Durham, NC WRDC: MyNetworkTV ​28 (HD)
WRDC: Grit ​56 (SD)
Minneapolis, MN (S. Metro)​ WUCW: CW ​23 (HD)
WUCW: GetTV 67 (SD)
WUCW: Grit 68 (SD)
WUCW: Comet 69 (SD)
​Myrtle Beach, SC ​WPDE: ABC 15 (HD)
​WPDE: Local Weather ​50 (SD)
​WPDE: Comet 51 (SD)
WWMB: CW ​21 (HD)
​WWMB: CW Plus ​52 (SD)
WWMB: American Sports Network ​53 (SD)
​Charleston, SC WCIV: ABC 36 (HD)
​WCIV: My NetworkTV ​37 (HD)
WCIV: Me TV ​38 (HD)
All markets The Tennis Channel Varies by market

Frontier called Sinclair’s proposed renewal price “unreasonable” and stopped responding to Sinclair’s follow-up offers, according to Faber.

“And that’s where it stands,” Faber added. “We view it as negotiations are over.”

Currently there are 23 comments on this Article:

  1. No one important says:

    Unless there’s a last minute agreement between the two parties, it looks like this decision can be blamed on Frontier’s efforts to reduce costs. This is the reason Mr. McCarthy hired Perly (white teeth) McBride, the new CFO, in order to attack cost structures; I suspect laying off 1000 employees helps achieve that goal. Unfortunately those cost savings won’t be passed onto Frontier’s consumers.

  2. Dave says:

    Note to KOMO local advertisers: You might want to consider moving your ads from KOMO to KING, KIRO, or KCPQ instead. Or at least demand lower rates from KOMO because you’re about to lose a lot of viewers.

  3. stanley says:

    this is another fight that puts the subscriber in the middle. Sinclair seems to be a bad-faith negotiator; Frontier needs to issue rebates immediately. FCC should step in to protect the subscriber.


    • Jean Miller says:

      I am maybe 1 mile from my most local TV channel, which is not now showing on Dish. Is ridiculous. I sincerely hope this is resolved soon! Missing WGAL-TV 8 in Lancaster, PA!

  5. Pam says:

    This is ridiculous, can’t get our local channels , dish increase 20 for looking cal channels were not getting. Cable is a rip off you can hook up than at end of contract they double your payments
    FCC and government needs to stop this !!
    Why aren’t there more cable companies to chose from, why does this get so expensive we had antennas growing up, we had stations !! We satillites everywhere and all keep increasing costs to watch tv
    FCC and the government needs to fix this problem!!!

  6. Grovette RENNINGER-HARRIS says:


  7. Patricia Wigginton says:

    This sucks, I just got notice that dish was going to raise my cable bill again and now they cut off some of my channels what a rip off

  8. Denise Johnston says:

    This is so. Stupid!!! Ready to go get antenna and tell all you satellite people where to go!!!!!!!!!
    To go!!!!!!!

  9. Alex says:

    Just absurd, greed is the reason, so sad

  10. Brigitte says:

    Calling tomorrow to cancel my service with dish,this has happened before in the pass year with dish I’m done it’s time to move on something better

  11. Linda Clark says:

    I am so disappointed in this whole thing. we love these channels that you have taken from us but yet my price still goes up GO FIGURE someone has said before we keep going through this all the time. and it is greed. it didn’t take DIRECT this long to come to an agreement. and lets face it dish is getting as bad as direct. we are so sick of this it is disgusting to put your customers through this all the time it is wrong. all I know is something has got to change. or I will have to do something else.

  12. Karen Dunne says:

    II am very upset that you have decided to remove channel 9 and 29. Channel 9 is our local news. It is a shame to pay for a channel in the basic program and not be able to get it. Shame on you!!!! Please return programming immediately

  13. cecile higgins says:

    At least Dish had the courtesy to go on TV and tell us their version of the black-out. KETV has not! I find it very disconcerting not to be able to watch shows that I enjoy and pay for!!!! There had to be a way to resolve this dispute w/o making the customer suffer—bad PR! KETV now leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Greed seems to be their creed.

    • jamesjimcie says:

      The dispute is mainly wanting Dish to pay the increase in retransmission consent fees and how much it wants to pay for Hearst stations to help pay down all the debts for the improvements over at their stations including for the rights for $1.00-2.00 per month to NBC for reverse compensation under Comcast by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to CBS for reverse compensation by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to ABC for reverse compensation under Disney by 2020-2021; $1.00-2.00 per month to CW for reverse compensation by 2020-2021; up to $1.00-2.00 per month for using ATV Broadcast, Duane Lammers firm Max Retrans, or one of the other consultants Hearst uses to assist Hearst with handling the negotiations to negotiate retransmission consent negotiations with Dish by 2020-2021; up to $1.00-2.00 per month for various miscellaneous items and stuff and things including syndicated programming, pay TV stations for being connected to fiber optic cable line networks allowing the TV stations to be connected to the cable headend, satellite headend, and teleco headend, pay for equipment allowing the local TV station to be able to encode captioning on local newscasts and various live events, pay for updating all weather equipment to serve TV viewers even during poor weather conditions, pay employees equal salaries and wages, utilities, finance payments, property taxes, FCC-related legal expenses including paying fines to the FCC for engaging in various violations and various other civil penalty offenses, enhanced heightened security at the TV stations and at Hearst headquarters, pay property insurance that help the TV station to be able to replaced damages to the TV station studio facility and equipment, pay health care insurance that are costs to the employees through the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, also would likely want the fees going to help purchase brand new encoders and encoding equipment including video encoders that allow TV stations to live streamed all of the TV stations newscasts and various local events online from the TV stations website and from livestream, broadcasting equipment that would allow Hearst stations using Dual HD with 2 of the Big 4 both in HDTV and a single or dual Little 2/independent in SDTV thanks to improvements in encoders and encoding equipment and other equipment allowing broadcasters and TV stations to be able to transmit 2 1080 or 720 HDTV feeds(either 1 1080 HDTV and 1 720 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel, 2 1080 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel , or 2 720 HDTV feeds on a single RF channel) and 1 to 4 480 SDTV feeds being transmitted on a single TV station digital RF channel and fully upgrade to full HDTV facilities from deal-making with hardware and program vendors, preparing to pay for all brand new equipment for the TV stations to be able to share with another TV station when the incentive auction starts as part of the beginning of the spectrum auction, channel sharing, and channel repacking that started on March 29, 2016 to be able to fully make the transition to fully upgrade to ATSC 3.0 to allow to produce content in 4KTV or 8KTV in the UHDTV format in a few years in the future as part of the ongoing incentive auction as Hearst of one of the 9 original broadcasters and broadcasting groups to back Pearl TV ATSC 3.0 venture, to help launch down payments to possibly pursue in acquiring various TV stations when they are being put up for sale to be bought out by a TV station group or operator by 2020-2021; all in all for the total average cost of the average TV station being up to $3.00-6.00 per month from each subscriber every month.

  14. Annie Oscar says:

    I am very disappointed that I cannot view my favourite channel. I have been with Dish quite sometime I don’t know why both
    why both parties involved can’t come to an agreement and restore the channels. We are still paying our
    Bill but is not getting what we are paying for. You’ll are disputing each blaming each other when
    the viewers are the ones paying the price.

    Annie Oscar

  15. jessie stitt says:

    what is the problem why cant you put channel 5 nbc back on I guess i have to check another provider

  16. K Grant says:

    I think it’s ridiculous that these two parties can’t work things out! I agree,
    it’s time to switch providers! Direct was able to in 9 days!
    We’re approaching almost a month now. On top of that,
    our bill increased during this time! What a joke!
    Oh, and if you call they’ll credit you a whole ten dollars! But only if you ask!
    Good bye dish! Think I’ll go to charter

  17. W Stuckey says:

    Regarding Hearst holding hostage the ABC affiliate in the Pittsburgh market: Now that the FCC allows market modifications to rebroadcast out-of-market stations, which are really “in-state” Maryland for your southeastern viewing area, it makes sense to me to explore rebroadcast of the Baltimore ABC affiliate, WMAR TV2. Pittsburghers could still receive local news on the NBC and CBS stations, and Marylanders could receive MD news on WMAR. Everybody wins by resuming availability of ABC programming. WMAR is a Scripps Group TV station. Screw Hearst.

  18. c wedman says:

    I am very disappointed in the service I am receiving from DISH. I am not able to watch
    Channel 5. This is not the first time we have had this trouble with DISH!!! If I have to wait one more week I am changing to a more reliable company!!!!
    This is going way out of control!!!!

  19. michael says:

    O.K alredy Hearst!!! Let’s setle this thing already.Stop being GREEDY and acting like a bunch of adolecences and grow up…How much is enough,huh? Your nothing but a bunch of GREEDY ,selfish Bastards,that don’t think about anything except money.get a life…But I bet you and your families are haveing no problems though…Keep it up Hearst,and none of you ASSHOLES will make nothing anymore…

  20. Pam says:

    Okay enough is enough, both Hearst and Dish. You need to get this channel back on the air. I’m paying for a service and only getting 2/3’s of my viewing time. Hearst this should be hurting your ratings and dish this should be hurting your business.

  21. Sandy says:

    I have been with Dish Network entirely too long to keep going through this crap almost every 6 months. I’m not getting quality service like this. If I pay for local channels then I expect to get all of the local channels. If you are having financial problems work that out behind the scenes because I pay me bill which means Dish pay yours. Work this mess out with Hearst! Tired of not being able to see or record on NBC!

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