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Hawaii News Now blacked out for DISH customers

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 7:14 a.m. HST, Aug 1, 2013

Hawaii subscribers to DISH Network satellite television service lost the ability to view KGMB-TV, KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV overnight in the latest retransmission dispute.

The TV stations’ Alabama-based parent company, Raycom Media, has blacked out its stations’ signals from DISH Network in 36 markets nationwide, after negotiations failed to reach a new retransmission consent agreement, or arrangement in which DISH pays Raycom for its content.

In Honolulu’s case, the content is national programming from CBS, NBC and MyNetworkTV, local newscasts, and other shows.

In a statement, DISH said Raycom was seeking a “massive price increase,” and that it had offered to pay the same rates as do primary competitors for the same content, “but Raycom refuses to sign a contract,” the DISH statement said.

On its corporate page, Raycom says DISH “has refused to enter into an agreement with us.”

The Hawaii News Now website still carries the same message for DISH Network subscribers posted July 2.

Above that message, however, is an advertisement for DISH competitor DirecTV. Down each side of the message to DISH subscribers, identical messages in dramatic lettering read: “Attention DISH Network subscribers. Your station is no longer available on the DISH Network. But you’re still paying for it!” The message encourages customers to call a toll-free number to get a rebate.

There is no indication as to when a new agreement might lift the blackout and return Hawaii News Now programming to DISH customers.

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