Dish Network removes Channel 2 during retransmission dispute

Dish Network removes Channel 2 during retransmission dispute
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ATTENTION Dish CUSTOMERS: Dish has chosen to blackout WSB-TV and you will no longer be able to watch your favorite programming from Channel 2 live on Dish, including Channel 2 Action News, Good Morning America, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Entertainment Tonight, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Dish Network removed Channel 2 after the satellite provider refused to agree to a fair deal for a new retransmission consent agreement with Cox Media Group. If you are currently affected by Dish’s decision to deprive you of important local news and programming during these critical times, make your voice heard! Call Dish today at 1-800-333-3474 and demand that they get your local programming back.

Dish has been stalling negotiations for months while it pursued a misguided legal action against CMG. Despite multiple rulings rejecting Dish’s legal maneuvers, Dish still refused to do a fair deal and has now blacked out 13 CMG stations, including Channel 2.

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As the court highlighted, CMG cannot prevent Dish from retransmitting the stations. They go dark only if Dish so chooses. CMG is hopeful that Dish will abandon its well-worn path of blacking out TV stations to the detriment of viewers in favor of meaningful negotiations that bear a mutually beneficial deal for all parties.

CMG said: “During these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that our viewers know their trusted local stations are there for them, providing the news and information they need to make decisions for their families. CMG stations take pride in being resources for our communities, and we will fight to continue to fulfill this responsibility.”

Channel 2 programming remains available for viewers to access over the air, and this dispute will not affect the vast majority of viewers, who are customers of other video providers. It should be noted that Channel 2 has reached agreements with virtually every other major cable and satellite distributor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is happening? By law, Channel 2 must negotiate carriage agreements with satellite companies like Dish. Usually, these deals are reached without any disruption to your service. In fact, our company has negotiated dozens of agreements with only the rarest of disruptions. Unfortunately, so far, Dish has refused to agree to a fair market deal with CMG for Channel 2′s programming and services that customers value. Dish has been relying on a series of legal maneuvers and actions to stall negotiations. Despite losing a recent court ruling Dish is still refusing. Because Channel 2 has yet to secure a deal with Dish, you will lose live access to the shows, sports and local news on Channel 2, which you rely on and are paying for. We are hopeful Dish will abandon its well-worn path of blacking out TV stations and come to the negotiating table with CMG.
  2. As a Dish customer, what can I do to continue to watch my favorite shows on Channel 2? The best thing viewers can do is Call Dish at 1-800-333-3474. Tell Dish that you pay them a lot of money to watch your favorite shows on Channel 2, including Good Morning America, Kelly Clarkson, Channel 2 Action News, World News Tonight, The Bachelor, College Football, the NBA, and more.
  3. Why does Channel 2 charge cable and satellite operators a fee to carry their programming? Despite what you may have heard, this dispute is not about Channel 2 seeking large fees. Channel 2 is among the highest rated channels on Dish. Producing and broadcasting high rated, top-quality programming is very expensive. We invest millions of dollars in our local news, weather, emergency programming and entertainment content. To keep doing that, we need a fair deal from Dish and all our distributors. We have carriage agreements with every other major cable and satellite company that is carrying Channel 2 and are seeking to be treated fairly by Dish.
  4. Won’t rates to subscribers go up if Dish has to pay Channel 2? Whether rates go up depends on decisions made by Dish. Like all cable and satellite companies, Dish is already charging you to receive Channel 2 as part of your monthly bill. We do not control how much Dish pays to other channels or how it manages its business. Dish should stop over-paying for channels its customers watch less and prioritize channels like Channel 2, that its subscribers turn to every day. We have and will continue to negotiate with Dish in good faith in an effort to successfully complete a deal with them.
  5. Since Dish stopped carrying Channel 2, will I get a refund on my bill? It is up to Dish to resolve such questions with its customers. But you could call Dish at 1-800-333-3474 about a refund and let them know you are no longer getting what you pay for – your favorite newscasts and programming from Channel 2.
  6. Is there anything the public can do to help make sure that Channel 2 is back on Dish? The best way for you to encourage a resolution is to register your support of how important it is for them to carry Channel 2 by calling Dish at 800-333-3474. You pay Dish a lot of money. It will listen to your voices. You can also view Channel 2 Over the Air with an over the air antenna available at retail. Or you can contact and easily switch to any number of other providers that are committed to providing you with all the programming you watch every day:

Regardless, we will continue to work hard to try and get a successful outcome to this negotiation so that you regain live access to your favorite programming, but the ball remains in Dish’s court to step-up like its competitors and peers have done.