DISH subscribers could lose WBFF and WNUV at midnight Wednesday

August 14, 2012|By David Zurawik

DISH subscribers could lose access to WBFF and WNUV (Channels 45 and 54) at midnight Wednesday in a disagreement over retransmission fees.

"Based on current state of negotiations, there's a risk DISH won't be carrying us after midnight Wednesday," Barry Faber, executive vice president for Sinclair Broadcast Group,  said this morning.

WBFF is owned and WNUV is managed by Sinclair, which is based in Hunt Valley.

"We're hopeful, we'll get a deal, but we're also realistic," he added, saying that Sinclair wants to keep viewers informed.

"The last thing we want," Faber said, is for viewers of Channel 45 and 54 who subscribe to DISH to wake up Thursday morning and not find the channels on their TVs.

"The retransmission consent agreement between DISH and Sinclair expires August 15," an email purported to be from the satellite provider said. "If the companies fail to reach an agreement on price, DISH will no longer be allowed to carry Sinclair's signals in 45 markets across the U.S."

Much of the rest of the email was an attack on Sinclair. It linked to a website other than DISH's, which appeared to be an operation geared to mold and use public opinion as a bargaining tool.

I could not confirm the source of the email in the past eight hours.

UPDATE: A DISH spokesman did confirm Tuesday morning that the email was from him.

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