Information about KZTV DISH contract negotiations

Posted at 9:13 AM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 12:02:36-04

Q. What’s going on and what is this negotiation about? 

The KZTV agreement with DISH expired at 6:00 p.m. Monday May 21, 2018. To avoid a disruption in your DISH service, we have offered to extend our agreement if they would negotiate some legal language but they refused. We felt it was necessary to alert DISH customers to the possibility that they may lose access to KZTV local news as well as CBS programs such as CBS Evening News, NFL Football, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, and many more of your favorite programs.

Both KZTV and DISH have extensive data about the actual viewership of KZTV and all the other channels. There is no dispute that KZTV is one of the most viewed channels, if not the most viewed channel on DISH system.  In fact, local broadcasters have 40 percent of all local viewing yet receive a small portion of the fees DISH charges you.

We are simply asking for a fair negotiation consistent with the agreements we have with all other cable and satellite systems. This helps us offset significant costs charged to us by CBS for its programs and the most important operation expense of all-the responsibility of covering the markets news, weather, sports, emergency and community service information.

Q. How will this negotiation impact my monthly bill with DISH? 

This is completely up to DISH, which has built a very profitable business by reselling programming provided by local stations and cable companies.

DISH DOES NOT have to pass along any increase it may agree to with KZTV.

Whatever increase DISH and KZTV might agree to, to characterize KZTV as being greedy or holding viewers hostage is simply not true. DISH is a publicly traded $14 billion company.

It is entirely up to DISH what, if any increase they pass through to you.

Q. Is KZTV making unreasonable demands of DISH? 

No. What we are asking is fair. KZTV has negotiated dozens of agreements with other cable and satellite providers–DISH has negotiated THOUSANDS of agreements. Both parties know what’s fair.  SagamoreHill, the owners of KZTV has negotiated over 40 agreements in the last 6 months, all without interruption with service to viewers.  These include Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, Suddnelink, Grande, Cable One just to name a few.

KZTV has agreements with all other operators in the market and our request for compensation from DISH is in the same range as all the other agreements we have negotiated. What we are asking for is far below the rates DISH pays to national cable channels which are far less popular than KZTV, have far fewer viewers, and provide no local news or community service.

We are willing to make a very fair deal with DISH similar to agreements we have with its competitors.

We sincerely hope it doesn’t come to this but if you value KZTV programming, you may have to switch providers to continue watching us. If you remain a DISH customer, please have patience. We assure you we will continue to negotiate in good faith with the goal of resolving this issue as soon as possible.

Q. What are my other options for getting KZTV programming? 

All cable and satellite providers other than DISH will continue to carry KZTV without interruption. You may also use an antenna to receive our digital, high-definition signal over the air free of charge. If you’re interested in switching to another provider, here is a list of contact numbers and online locations:

DIRECTV – ‎(855) 842-4388

Spectrum – (866) 874-2389

Grande – (844) 357-0942

How can KZTV charge DISH for its programming when it is free to over-the-air viewers?

Any individual can watch our programming for FREE with the use of an antenna but we don’t allow anyone to carry our programming and resell it to the public without fair compensation.

This right to negotiate for fair compensation was authorized by Congress in 1992. The 1992 Cable Act, also known as the retransmission consent process, was in large part designed to ensure that local TV stations would be able to enhance their local news and community service efforts. Our local news operation is by far the largest single expense of the television station, as it should be. We provide many hours of local news each week. Again, our agreements with operators such as DISH supports our ability to provide local news and other programming.

Q. What will we be missing if KZTV is not available on DISH? 

We produce local news each week covering the issues important to Corpus Christi and the surrounding communities. In addition, we broadcast CBS award-winning and highly-rated news, sports and entertainment programming including NFL football just to name a few.

Q. Won’t DISH just add another CBS affiliate? 

In short, they can’t. KZTV is the local affiliate for this area in the Corpus Christi market area and federal law prevents them from doing so.

Q. Why wouldn’t the local TV station grant an extension of the negotiation period to the operator so its programming continues to be seen? 

We have offered an extension. Unfortunately, DISH has not agreed to negotiate some of the language of the contract.

We are keenly aware that if DISH removes us from their system, viewers will be caught in the middle of a business dispute. We pledge to you that we will do everything to resolve this dispute so that doesn’t happen.

Q. Why are two giant companies fighting and putting subscribers in the middle of their negotiation?

KZTV is no giant. Dish is a national company with $14.6 Billion in annual revenues and we’re a small, family-owned company whose revenues are far less than one percent of Dish. We employ local people that are invested in your community, DISH just cashes your checks.

Q. What can I do?

You can call Dish Network at 800-333-3474 and let them know that you would like KZTV back on Dish Network. Additionally, you can enter your email address below to sign up for our newsletter and get updates from KZTV sent to your inbox.