Last month, we told you about the carriage battle between Dish Network and Hearst Broadcasting which began on March 3. Now more than a month and a half later, the two sides aren’t talking and it appears there’s no end in sight. Thirty three stations in 26 markets are blacked out and this includes Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Kansas City, New Orleans, Orlando, Pittsburgh and other cities.

Most of Hearst’s stations are ABC affiliates, but they also have several NBC stations and two that are with CBS. So since the dispute began, viewers have lost live sports like the Masters, NBA, NCAA Tournament, NHL and other events.

The last time we heard anything on this was when Hearst instituted a “shot clock” on its station websites to show how long the dispute has been. And that was when the dispute was just over two weeks old. Now the blackout is retching into its seventh week with no foreseeable solution.

Back in March, Dish said it would accept the same terms as DirecTV when that satellite provider agreed to terms with Hearst earlier in the year. DirecTV and Hearst had their own carriage dispute, but that ended rather quickly when the two sides went into handshake mode. But DirecTV has almost twice as many subscribers as Dish, so Hearst feels Dish is not in the same position as DirecTV in regards to strength.

The Dish-Hearst impasse may go well into the spring and perhaps into the summer and once again, the viewers are stuck in the middle. And while Dish has suggested its subscribers go to Hulu to watch their favorite ABC or NBC programs or CBS All Access, it’s not the same. And as this dispute continues, people will blame both sides. All viewers want to do is to turn on their TV’s and see their local station without seeing a silly disclaimer on the screen.

[Fierce Cable]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • DISH Hopper Fanboy

    There is an easy fix. Get the OTA (over the air) adapter for your Dish receiver and hook up a local TV antenna. You get the local channels in your market including subchannels. The local OTA channels will appear in the on screen guide and if you have a DVR you’ll be able to record them as well. As far as I know DISH is the only provider with this option.
    This is one way to put a stop to the broadcasters demand for more and more and more of your hard earned dollars for something they “broadcast” for free. (except of course to satellite tv customers)

    • Carter_Burger67

      Even better, get an antenna for your roof. Subscribe to Playstation Vue and drop Dish all together. I did that at the first of the year, and haven’t looked back.

      • DISH Hopper Fanboy

        I wouldn’t be happy with PSVue. The OTA locals wouldn’t be integrated into my guide, i couldn’t record them. I’d have to switch inputs to toggle between netflix, youtube, pandora, vevo, gamefinder. All of that stuff is built in to my Hopper 3. I love my 16 tuner Hopper 3 and 500 hours of HD record time. Plus I can watch all of my stuff (live and dvr’d) even my over the air local channels from anywhere in the world.

        • Carter_Burger67

          Keep giving the thieves more of your money then.