16 Jun Tribune Proposes FCC Monitor Negotiations with Dish Network
June 16, 2016—Tribune Broadcasting, a division of Tribune Media (NYSE: TRCO) today called Dish Network’s proposal of binding arbitration nothing more than a hollow offer, designed to mislead consumers and avoid returning to meaningful negotiation. The company instead proposed to let the FCC Chairman’s Office monitor negotiation between the two companies.
“Dish routinely makes these offers of arbitration instead of negotiating, and they are always rejected,” said Gary Weitman, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for Tribune Media. “Arbitration is an expensive substitute for the negotiating process set up by Congress and Dish has a history of walking away from arbitration when the outcome goes against it.”
Weitman continued: “We propose instead that we let the FCC Chairman’s office monitor our negotiations with Dish through daily joint calls. Doing so will make abundantly clear to the FCC and the public that it is Tribune Media, not DISH, that is negotiating in good faith to obtain an agreement at current market rates.”
“If Dish is serious about wanting to put our local stations back on their distribution system, the easiest path forward is to accept our repeated offer of an extension to Aug. 31, 2016 on a status quo basis and immediately restore our stations while we continue negotiating. We renewed this offer again today to enable Dish subscribers in our markets to see tonight’s Game 6 of the NBA finals and this weekend’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament.
“As we have said before, we are seeking nothing more than fair market rates for the value of our programming—the same market rates that Dish pays other local station groups, and the same market rates that we get from other satellite, cable and telco companies. For more than three days, Dish has failed to counter the offer we extended Sunday night.
“Finally, Dish’s history regarding binding arbitration is that they subvert the process when they lose by refusing to follow the arbitrator’s ruling. This is exactly what happened when they requested binding arbitration with NBCU/Comcast in 2010. In that instance, Dish took Comcast SportsNet California off the air when they lost the arbitration, leaving millions of viewers in the dark.”
Additional information about Dish’s 2010 arbitration with NBCU/Comcast can be found here:
Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching more than 50 million households, national entertainment network WGN America, whose reach is approaching 80 million households, Tribune Studios, and Gracenote, one of the world’s leading sources of video, music and sports metadata, powering electronic program guides in televisions, automobiles and mobile devices. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM and the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds other strategic investments in media. For more information please visit www.tribunemedia.com.