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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Business News

DISH viewers lose WFLA-TV as negotiations continue


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DISH customers no longer have access to WFLA, News Channel 8, while negotiations continue on a new carriage agreement with Media General, the parent company of the NBC affiliate in Tampa.

The contract was slated to expire June 30, but Media General agreed to a 90-day extension. That extension period ended Tuesday.

In a news release, DISH said that Media General rejected DISH’s offer of another extension until Media General completes a merger agreement this year with Young Broadcasting, with which DISH has a long-term agreement in place.

WFLA, on its website, said DISH Network has “refused to reach a fair, market-based deal.” DISH, in a news release, counters that Media General is asking the satellite company to pay “more than five times what it currently pays for the same content.”

The DISH blackout affects News Channel 8 and Media General stations in several other markets.

It also blocks the Me TV, according to WFLA’s website. The channel, aired on WFLA’s digital channel, offers reruns of classic television shows.

WFLA-TV and Me TV remain available for free through an over-the-air antenna.

On June 3, Media General and Young Broadcasting announced a planned merger, with the new company retaining the Media General name. The transaction, slated to close this year, combines Young’s 12 network-affiliated stations with Media General’s 18.

In October 2012, Virginia-based Media General sold The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com to the Los Angeles-based Revolution Capital Group, and is operating it as a locally based company called the Tampa Media Group.

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