**UPDATE: April 23, 2018
It has now been a month since our last update. To be frank, there has been little communication with or from DISH during that time. At this point, we are doubtful that we will be able to reach a new agreement with DISH for the foreseeable future.
As you know, we are a small, family-owned company, and we remain committed to serving our community. But we would not be able to do so if we made bad business deals that jeopardized our ability to employ your friends and neighbors or engage with you, our viewers, in ways that matter to you on a day-to-day basis. Although this disruption is difficult for all concerned, we do not intend to make a bad deal. Period.
We remain available on DIRECTV and all local cable companies, and, of course, we are available over the air with an antenna. We hope you will keep watching.
Thank you, again, to our many loyal viewers who have called us with your words of encouragement and support.
**UPDATE: March 23, 2018
We have received calls from some of you asking for a new update, so here it is:
We know it’s been several weeks since we last provided an update, but that’s because we don’t really have anything to report. We have had a few, sporadic communications with DISH, but, to date, no material progress has been made on resolving this dispute. We wish we had something positive to report, but unfortunately we don’t.
Something else that hasn’t changed in the past few weeks is that we continue to have long-term deals in place with every other cable and satellite provider, and, of course, our signal continues to be available over the air with an antenna.
We continue to welcome calls from you, our viewers. If you have called DISH to tell them you want your Station back, thank you! If you have not yet done so, then a call to DISH now at 800-333-3474 urging them to step up to the plate certainly couldn’t hurt.
Thank you for your feedback and your concern.
**UPDATE: March 1, 2018
We have heard from many viewers this past week who are telling us that DISH is telling them that a deal has been reached between us and DISH and that WHDF The Valley’s CW will be restored soon. That’s certainly news to us!
Here’s where things really stand: DISH last made a financial offer to us the night of February 8 (yes, three weeks ago), to which we responded on February 9. We have not received a new financial offer from DISH since then. Basically, they have told us we should bid against ourselves. We may be a small, family-owned business, but we didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.
Speaking of vegetables, one viewer told us that a DISH manager told him that we are “small potatoes” and that is why they should not pay us market rates. According to this viewer, DISH was arguing that this was a benefit to you, its customers. We’re not sure how it’s a “benefit” to you to pay for a service that doesn’t include everything you thought you were paying for. We definitely see the benefit to DISH, however: They raised the price for locals from $10 to $12 per month, even before our agreement expired, and they are not paying us right now, so DISH is pocketing all this extra money at both your and our expense.
We guess we can see this as part of a strategy that led DISH to report last week revenue of nearly $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. However, at the same time, DISH also reported that it lost 9.4% of its total satellite subscribers in 2017. Sounds like a winning strategy to us.
We are happy to talk with you, and we will tell you what we can, not just what we think you want to hear. Thank you, again, for your continued loyalty and words of support.
**UPDATE: February 22, 2018
We continue to get calls and emails from you, our viewers, and we are responding to each and every individual that contacts us.
Here is a further update on our situation:
It has been two weeks since we made a very reasonable and fair offer to DISH to resolve the blackout. We still have not received a written offer back from DISH.
It is interesting that DISH earlier this week reported revenue for the 4th quarter of 2017 - $3.48 BILLION. DISH also just announced that it will realize a $1.2 BILLION benefit from the new tax law reforms. Yes, that’s right, DISH can benefit from taxpayers to the tune of $1.2 BILLION, but can’t come to a deal with family-owned WHDF for carriage .
DISH is the exception in our company’s experience with these matters. We have been successful in maintaining carriage with every other provider in the market. That’s worth repeating: We have never had a carriage disruption, at any time, with any other provider but DISH.
We have long-term deals with every other cable and satellite provider, and our signal is available over the air with an antenna. Although DISH has been telling you, their paying customers, for weeks that a deal is close – the truth is, they aren’t even trying. We’d like to thank you again for your continued loyalty and support.
**UPDATE: February 19, 2018
We wanted to update everyone on where we stand with DISH. On February 9th we made a very fair and reasonable offer for DISH to begin carrying WHDF The Valley’s CW again. Believe it or not, we have heard nothing—not a peep—since that date.
We understand your frustration, but please understand that we are frustrated too. DISH is the exception in our company’s experience with these matters. We have been successful in maintaining carriage with every other provider in the market. That’s worth repeating: we have never had a carriage disruption, at any time, with any other provider.
Perhaps the reason is that DISH, a company with a 21 billion dollar market cap, doesn’t really care about viewers or our local communities. Ask yourself, if you were truly interested in restoring WHDF The Valley’s CW to the DISH Network, whether you would not even respond to the other side’s offer for more than week?
At this point we strongly advise you to consider all alternative options to view WHDF The Valley’s CW and our local news and weather reporting. We have long-term deals with every other cable and satellite provider, and our signal is available over the air with an antenna. We wish it were otherwise, but we just don’t believe DISH has any interest in completing a deal, particularly after they refused to respond to our most recent effort to restore WHDF The Valley’s CW.
**UPDATE: February 9, 2018
Regrettably, another week has passed and, despite our efforts, we have made virtually no progress in resolving the impasse with DISH. DISH continues to insist on terms that are highly unfavorable to us and remains unwilling to pay market-based rates for the Station.
As we noted before, DISH is no stranger to these disputes—disputes that have, at times, dragged on for months and months.
If you don’t want to wait for who knows how long to get WHDF The Valley’s CW back, call DISH now at 800-333-3474 and tell them you’ve already been without WHDF The Valley’s CW long enough! And you may want to ask them why you’re paying full price for a less-than-full service that doesn’t include us.
Of course, our signal continues to be available over the air via an antenna as well as on DIRECTV and all of the cable operators in the market.
We have spoken personally with hundreds of you over the past few weeks and we share your frustrations. Thank you for your words of encouragement and support!
**UPDATE: February 3, 2018
Although we have been diligently attempting to resolve the impasse with DISH Network, our efforts have been unsuccessful. We sent DISH a new offer on Friday Feb. 2nd, and still days later, we have received no response.
We know from our calls with you, our viewers, that DISH has told many of you that this will be resolved soon. Ask yourself, in view of their non-responsiveness, whether that seems likely, let alone truthful.
If you are one of DISH’s subscribers who DISH told to just sit tight, this will be fixed soon, or if you have not yet called but are now as frustrated as we are, then call DISH at 800-333-3474 and tell them you want WHDF back now!
**UPDATE: January 29, 2018
We regret to inform you that we have made little progress in our discussions with DISH in the past week. We know you are frustrated, as are we. DISH is continuing to insist on terms and conditions that are unfavorable to us while only offering to pay us far less than what all of our distributors do. In other words, it’s lose-lose for us.
We have heard from some DISH subscribers that DISH is telling them that DISH has offered to match the rates paid to us by all other pay TV providers. This is not true. If it were true, we would never have had this dispute with DISH in the first place.
The fact is, DISH frequently has disputes with broadcast stations. It is nothing new for them. For example, last year, in 2017, DISH had disputes with multiple broadcasters, both large and small alike, including with Bonneville International (3 days, affecting 2 television markets), CBS (4 days, 18 markets), Griffin Communications (14 days, 2 markets), Hearst Television (56 days, 26 markets), and Lilly Broadcasting (61 days, 4 markets). In 2016, DISH also had numerous disputes, including with Fort Myers Broadcasting (30 days, 1 market) and Tribune Broadcasting (85 days, 33 markets), as well as one with Shield Media that began in December 2015 and lasted 209 days into July 2016!
In contrast, Lockwood Broadcasting, our parent, has ever only had one previous dispute with—you guessed it—DISH Network back in January 2009. We hope you can see where the problem lies.
While we continue to negotiate with DISH, you are paying for a service that does not include WHDF The Valley’s CW that you thought you were paying for. You may wish to make alternative arrangements to receive our signal. Also, it is our understanding that in similar circumstances pay TV providers have provided rebates or credits to customers affected by a dispute.
We will continue to work to come to a fair agreement with DISH.
In the meantime, WHDF The Valley’s CW continues to remain available on DIRECTV and all other local cable operators.
We apologize that you are affected by this business dispute. But we are heartened by the support we have received from so many viewers who have called. To contact DISH Network to voice your concerns, viewers can call DISH Network customer service at (800) 333-3474.
ATTENTION DISH SUBSCRIBERS
DISH Network and Lockwood Broadcasting, Inc., the parent owner of WHDF The Valley’s CW, have reached an impasse in negotiating a renewal of the agreement providing for carriage of WHDF The Valley’s CW on DISH Network’s satellite system. As a result, WHDF The Valley’s CW is no longer being carried by DISH. We had granted DISH extensions in the hopes of concluding a new deal with DISH by January 23, 2018.
Our company is a small, family-owned broadcaster, one of the few still left in America. DISH Network is a multi-billion dollar company that reported revenue of $3.6 billion in just the third quarter of 2017 (see http://dish.client.shareholder.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1047957). We think you can see where this is going.
While we had hoped to conclude a new agreement without disruption, DISH has continued to insist on new material terms and conditions that are less favorable than our current agreement, while seeking to pay fees that are substantially below market rates. We believe DISH has been neither fair nor reasonable and has been using its size to attempt to force us into a bad agreement. Market-based rates are critical to us to be able to deliver the top quality programming you have come to expect and to employ dozens of your friends and neighbors in our community. We have to stand up for what we know is right and fair.
Please understand that we have not “blacked out” our station. WHDF The Valley’s CW continues to remain available over the air via an antenna. You can determine the type of antenna needed at http://www.antennaweb.org/.
In addition, WHDF The Valley’s CW remains available on DIRECTV and on all local cable operators.
If viewers would like to learn more about local television and what can be done to help, please visit http://www.tvfreedom.org.
We regret the inconvenience DISH’s demands have imposed on its subscribers, and we will keep you informed of relevant developments.
To contact DISH Network to voice your concerns, viewers can call DISH Network customer service at (800) 333-3474.
Thank you for your patience and your continued support.