WKRG TV 5 Goes Dark For Dish Network Customers

October 1, 2013

WKRG channel 5 has gone dark for Dish Network customers after its parent company Media General and Dish failed to reach a retransmission agreement by midnight Monday.

“We’ve attempted to reach a fair agreement via many avenues, but Media General remains immovable in its demands,” said Sruta Vootukuru, Dish director of programming. “They declined a contract extension, an offer from Dish to pay our competitors’ rates, and have now refused our willingness to match rates paid to other area broadcasters. Media General is overreaching by trying to force Dish customers to pay more than their neighbors.”

“WKRG has been an integral part of the Mobile/Pensacola communities for over 58 years and  that is our number one priority,” said General Manager Mark P. Bunting. “We understand that having a blank screen instead of their favorite programming is frustrating for DISH customers  and it’s frustrating for us as well.”

Media General’s original contract with Dish expired in June, and in a statement Dish said Media General rejected its offer of a short-term contract extension until Media General is acquired by Young Broadcasting, a broadcaster with which Dish Network has a long-term agreement in place.

In a prepared statement, WKRG said Media General is doing everything it can to reach a fair resolution with DISH and have ourprogramming restored to the DISH satellite system.

In addition to WKRG and its CBS programming, the Media General blackout on Dish Network includes 17 other stations in 10 states.

“We’ve attempted to reach a fair agreement via many avenues, but Media General remains immovable in its demands,” said Sruta Vootukuru, Dish director of programming in a statement. “They declined a contract extension, an offer from Dish to pay our competitors’ rates, and have now refused our willingness to match rates paid to other area broadcasters. Media General is overreaching by trying to force Dish customers to pay more than their neighbors.”

On its website, WKRG says Dish customers can still watch the station for free over the air or by switching pay TV providers. According to the station, local news and other content is available on the station’s website.


19 Responses to “WKRG TV 5 Goes Dark For Dish Network Customers”

  1. EJ on November 5th, 2013 3:19 pm

    Don’t give in to the extortion by WKRG. There is a solution.

    Just get an OTA module:

    $38 on Amazon with free shipping:

  2. David on October 31st, 2013 12:20 pm

    It seems that DISH could give us CBS somehow? Forget WKRG, other locals news programs are better, DISH just give us CBS from any source.

  3. Donna Wiggins on October 28th, 2013 1:02 pm

    When will WKRG 5 be back on Dish TV??? Ive paid my bill and now its been weeks of NO channel & missed favorite shows for weeks!!!!

  4. Kathy on October 19th, 2013 12:42 pm

    Deal should have been reached by now. We pay for local and should have all local. Enough of this. Get busy and get wkrg back on air.

  5. Ray Lankford on October 9th, 2013 4:58 pm

    I hooked my antenna back up to day but for some reason I do not get channel five. That is why I switched to dish years ago. Channel 15 comes in nice and clear and I like their news broadcast a lot better. Had never watched their broadcast until now. I do like cbs programing a lot better and Alabama / auburn football on dish. I can be content with the attenna and listen to football on the radio if I have to.

  6. Karen on October 9th, 2013 10:59 am

    I called 1-888-615-3725 and DISH is sending me a USB module that will connect my OTA antenna to their Hopper! They expedited the shipping for free, so I should receive it tomorrow via UPS. The module will show the OTA stations in the guide and allow recording, etc while adding an additional tuner. I’ll never be affected by blackouts again!

  7. Fischer on October 7th, 2013 7:30 am

    I say forget WKRG and Medial General. If you really really want to watch their programs, you can most likely get it in HD over the free airwaves. So… cut Media General and lower our prices on Dish ! Hmmm….

  8. Monte Miller on October 4th, 2013 6:21 pm

    I am disgusted with Media General and there greed. Settle this now and give us back our channel 5. Why are you being so greedy. You are loosing a huge market by not airing the channel.

  9. Tony Payne on October 3rd, 2013 5:38 am

    I missed WKRG TV5 Tuesday. By Wednesday I realized I liked WPMI local news much better. I doubt I’ll ever switch back. Thanks guys for being so greedy and forcing me to see I was missing out on other better options.

  10. Kathryn Diamond on October 2nd, 2013 1:44 pm

    I am very disappointed in Dish and Media General for not having resolved this issue long before now. It appears that greed is at the bottom of this situation. After today, I do not care. Tomorrow I am going back to cable and will not have to worry about not have a satellite signal every time it rains, whether a little or a lot. Plus it will be a lot cheaper for me. Also, I am tired of the cost for Dish going up and never knowing for sure what I owe on my bill because they keep changing the cost. I am using my friend’s TV and antenna until tomorrow when I am switch over to cable. Good luck to every one.

  11. LOULOU on October 2nd, 2013 7:45 am

    I have not had satellitte in years and i love it . Watching a great many shows and if i want to see a movie i rent one and i do not have to watch same things over and over again. Been going on trips with the money i save for free tv.

  12. Eric on October 2nd, 2013 7:11 am

    I’m a dish network customer since 1998. Personally, I HATE CBS. The only thing I ever watch on CBS is college football (the announcers still SUCK) and college basketball. Had this happened in April or May, I probably wouldn’t have even known about it. It’s really frustrating that both parties knew the contract deadline was coming up and Media General appears to just be too greedy with what they want to charge to carry their signal. In the meantime, the customers suffer.

  13. Freda Whaley on October 2nd, 2013 4:30 am

    AC if you do decided to go back to using an antenna it’s not what you use to use. It brings in HD and it’s wonderful. Also it’s free. I loaned my extra TV and my extra antenna to my neighbor so she could still watch her favorite shows. I agree with everything else you had to say. I won’t be going back to cable or dish until they start letting us pick and choose what channels we want to watch.

  14. AC on October 2nd, 2013 12:43 am

    THIS BLACKOUT IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! We are extremely disappointed in Dish Network and WKRG (CBS). They have had since June to resolve this issue and should not be projecting it onto the paying customers. Both have the ability to put the customers first and should not have waited until the new season started to punish Dish Network customers for their inability to workout a reasonable solution. Our family is very upset with both parties for causing us to miss out on shows we have enjoyed for years. We have used Dish Network for many years.The last time we went to Direct TV because we lost all the local channels, within 3 months we lost the local channels on Direct TV. Why should we have to get alternative means to watch our favorite programs when we didn’t cause this issue in the first place. We deserve so much better from Dish Network and WKRG (CBS). We are not sure we will continue to use Dish Network or watch WKRG (CBS) because of this blackout. We had an antenna that picked up 3 channels in the 70s and 80s really in 2013 we have to go back to an antenna, NO WAY! I’d rather not watch TV than use an antenna! BTW: Jay, we received a $10 credit for 6 months which is still not good enough for us.

  15. Michael Crabtree on October 2nd, 2013 12:27 am

    I think this is a crock! I watch WKRG 5 all the time and all my family favorite shows come on this channel. We can’t even to afford the bills we have, but you want us to come up with more to keep a channel that has been around longer than most of us. You should be ashamed and I don’t know how you guys sleep at night.

  16. SW on October 1st, 2013 3:34 pm

    All is good; the ol’ antenna still works.

    I think I will follow Jay’s advice.

  17. Bama Boy on October 1st, 2013 3:33 pm

    Jay thanks for the information I will be calling

  18. Jay on October 1st, 2013 10:56 am

    ATTENTION all Frontier/Dish customers! I just got off the phone with Dish Network. I explained that I felt they were in violation of my contract with them to provide local channels and requested a refund for the channel 5 issue. The gentleman agreed and issued me a $5.oo credit for the next three months. Dish can be contacted at 800-333-3474.

  19. bama54 on October 1st, 2013 8:14 am

    I watch all the Alabama Football games that come on TV5 over the air, and listen to the Alabama Football network on the radio. The radio and TV video and sound match up great!! With the new digital age, off air is really the best way to watch for local programing. Plus, if the price for DirectV/Dish keeps going up, it might be the only TV I can afford to watch is on the antenna!! Reminds me of ole days when all we had was antenna (3,5, &10)!!

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.