NEW YORK, March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The following letter to DISH Network subscribers was posted to Hearst Television stations' websites:
To DISH Subscribers:
As Hearst Television continues to work toward a resolution of our impasse with DISH Network, I want to share with you our appreciation for your patience. We understand that you are frustrated that this impasse has taken so long to resolve—so are we. As a television viewer, nothing is more frustrating than missing your favorite station's local news and weather or network programming. Unfortunately, if you're a DISH subscriber, you've probably become accustomed to this phenomenon. Over the past several years, DISH has been the most egregious abuser of pay-TV disputes within the industry. While the length of these disputes has varied, in numerous instances DISH has had outages that have lasted several months. Unfortunately, to date DISH's lack of engagement and unwillingness to present a fair proposal suggest that DISH intends to employ their age-old strategy of a long-term impasse.
In recent months, Hearst Television has successfully completed a number of distribution agreements with other pay-TV providers. We have consistently sought to negotiate a deal that reflects the current marketplace, as represented by those deals. In response, DISH has simply engaged in doublespeak. On the one hand DISH has publicly stated that they're willing to accept other deals that Hearst Television has successfully concluded; yet, at the same time, DISH continues to offer us terms, including rates, that are so obviously below the marketplace that they could not be viewed as a genuine proposal by any objective participant.
DISH has suggested that Hearst Television has been unwilling to negotiate. This is simply untrue. As we have said to DISH all along, we remain ready and willing to conclude a deal promptly. In contrast, DISH has said that they're available day and night to reach an agreement, and yet they've refused to modify their completely off-market terms in any meaningful way. Given the foregoing and DISH's extensive history of outages, we suspect they will employ any scheme that serves to delay meaningful discussions. While Hearst Television can't force DISH to negotiate, we can assure you that we remain committed to reaching a fair deal, and we will work each and every day to make that happen.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this impasse has caused and look forward to providing you the very best in national and local programming as soon as possible.
Please call DISH at 1-800-333-3474 and tell them you won't wait a day longer.
President, Hearst Television
About Hearst Television
Hearst Television owns and operates local television and radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 21 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all of the major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over nearly 70 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, This TV, Estrella and more. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst. The Company's Web address is www.hearsttelevision.com.
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SOURCE Hearst Television