Media General called DISH Network's request for federal intervention in their retransmission dispute "meritless" and said the company will continue to negotiate in good faith with DISH.
Media General's retransmission agreement with DISH ended Sept. 30 after the two companies were unable to reach a fair resolution following a 90-day contract extension granted by Media General in June. Media General stations – including WNCN in Raleigh and WNCT in Greenville – are not currently being carried on DISH Network.
DISH announced Oct. 18 it had asked the Federal Communications Commission to intervene.
Media General, in response, said:
"This is the first time in the history of our company that Media General has failed to reach an agreement with a cable operator or satellite carrier. DISH, in contrast, has been involved in 32 take-down disputes with local broadcasters in the past three years alone, affecting more than 120 local television stations. DISH is currently involved in two other take-downs, in addition to its dispute with Media General.
"We have acted in a responsive, courteous and professional manner at all times, have accommodated numerous of DISH's requests and have negotiated in absolute good faith since we began discussions in June — not merely because of any obligation to do so, but because our own standards, and our commitments to our viewers and our communities demand nothing less.
"Unfortunately, DISH would prefer to manufacture a dispute, and now ask for government intervention, for its own purposes, rather than pay us a fair, market-based rate for the value of our stations."
Media General, based out of Richmond, Va., said it will continue to negotiate in good faith to resolve the dispute.
WNCN and other Media General stations continue to be available on other service providers and over the air.
DISH is based in Englewood, Colo.