DISH refuses to carry WBOC, FOX 21 as of New Year’s Day

WBOC and FOX 21, the local CBS and FOX affiliates found on Channels 16 and 21, today announced that despite prolonged negotiations, it appears that DISH is unwilling to carry the stations past the end of its current contract.

As a result, both WBOC and FOX 21 will no longer be seen on DISH as of Jan. 1.

“We are simply seeking a fair deal, which adequately values our No. 1-rated and award-winning news, sports, entertainment, and weather programming that is paramount to our local viewers,” said Craig Jahelka, WBOC’s and FOX 21’s vice president and general manager.

“In fact, for both of our stations, we are asking for far less than what DISH pays for other channels,” he said. “And we cannot in good conscience offer DISH our signals for free, knowing that they charge their customers for them.”

WBOC’s and FOX 21’s long-term agreement with DISH expires on Dec. 31. Unfortunately, WBOC and FOX 21 cannot force DISH to strike a deal to keep the stations’ programming on its channel lineup after that deadline.

WBOC’s and FOX 21’s programming will remain available for viewers over the air, and this dispute will not affect customers of DIRECTV, Comcast, Verizon, Charter, or Mediacom.

“We have reached agreements with every other major cable and satellite distributor,” Jahelka said. “In fact our company has never had a retransmission consent dispute.  By contrast, DISH has had more than a dozen disputes in the last three years.”

Jahelka said the stations would continue to offer the “high quality programming as we always have, and we will continue to serve our community as we have done for decades.”

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