KPRC (Channel 2) and other Graham Media stations remain on Dish Network as a result of “substantial progress” a retransmission agreement, according an update posted Wednesday night by the station group.
Dish’s agreement to carry the six Graham stations – Channel 2 in Houston, KSAT (Channel 12) in San Antonio and stations in Detroit, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla. — expired last week, and a week-long extension was to expire at 6 p.m. Wednesday. However, the group posted an update Wednesday night that read, “We are very pleased to announce that at the eleventh hour we have made substantial progress in our negotiations with Dish, and because of that we will continue to work diligently towards a final agreement.”
Previously, Jerry Martin, Channel 2’s general manager, acknowledges that the temptation for viewers is to blame both parties in such cases. He says, however, that Graham Media is seeking a reasonable increase in the rate that it charges Dish Network to rebroadcast its stations, including Channel 2, to its customers.
“Dish keeps telling people that we’re asking for double (its previous rate), and it is a fraction of that,” he said. “We’ve done hundreds of similar deals, including some big players in the field, and we believe we’re treating
this negotiation in a similar fair fashion. It’s up to them, really.”
Dish, meanwhile, said in a statement, “Only Graham Media can force a blackout of its channels. Dish is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires, and we have offered a contract extension to Graham to keep the channels available to customers in the event that we are unable to reach a deal by the deadline. Graham has rejected that offer.
“Dish has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. We are unsure why Graham decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”
Stations in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, were off Dish Network for five weeks before the sides reached a new retransmission deal this week.
Channel 2 said in a statement earlier in the week that Dish Network has about 247,000 customers in the Houston area.
Meanwhile, another technical difficulty has been resolved. KUHA (91.7 FM), the classical music station operated by Houston Public Media, was back on the air Wednesday after completion of emergency maintenance work continues on the station’s antenna.