I noticed a crawl on KOTV this morning:
“Attention DISH subscribers: KOTV News On 6’s parent company, Griffin Communications, has been negotiating with DISH on a new carriage agreement.
“If negotiations are not completed before January 15 at 6 p.m., you will not be able to view News On 6 on DISH Network.
“This means you will not be able to see local news and weather from News On 6, CBS programming such as NCIS, Big Bang Theory, the Young and the Restless or the NFL on CBS.
“We hope to reach an agreement but feel it is important to alert you in advance.”
I find the usage of the “News On 6” phrase confusing. The entire channel is referred to as “News On 6”? I think they are just saying Dish subscribers will not see Channel 6 at all, no local programming, no network programming.
But how about KQCW, also owned by Griffin, and sharing some programming with KOTV?
To clarify the relationships of the various Griffin entities in Tulsa (I hope):
The main KOTV CBS-affiliated channel is on channel 6.1 broadcast (6 or 1006 on Cox). Their 24-hour news repeater channel is “News On 6 Now”, channel 6.3 broadcast (53 on Cox).
NewsOn6.com is the main KOTV website URL, which encompasses not only the main channel, but also the repeater channel and sister station KQCW. TitanTV program listings are displayed for 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 19.1 and 19.2 (thisTV).
KQCW (seen on both 6.2 and 19.1 broadcast, 12 on Cox) has its own separate website, TulsaCW.com, though it also functions as a second home for some of KOTV’s local programming (e.g. “6 In The Morning”).
A NewsOn6.com page explains: “…when News On 6 breaks into regular programming for breaking news or severe weather we will move CBS and syndicated shows to News On 6 Now.”
I’m not sure what it all means with respect to the Dish dispute; perhaps nothing. Maybe less prose-addled, better-informed readers can comment.
In any case, since cord-cutting is the focus of this blog, I will point out that all KOTV subchannels are available for free over the air. All you need to do is put up an antenna (e.g., the Mohu Leaf, Curve, or Sky 60) if you have a TV manufactured in the last 10 years. You can use this along with cable or dish.
While looking into the dispute, I saw that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is in a similar negotiation with Dish. Dish has already blocked out Fox News and Fox Business due to the impasse.
According to this Hollywood Reporter article, News Corp is trying to use access to the popular Fox News Channel (along with the less popular Fox Business) to pressure Dish into carrying its fledgling channels, Fox Sports 1 and the FXX Network.
Each corporation is headed by a stubborn and powerful individual (Charles Ergen is the Chairman of Dish Network, and largest stockholder; see this eye-opening AOLJobs profile), so this could drag on for awhile.
To quote a Groucho Marx character (Otis B. Driftwood), “Hey, you big bully, what’s the idea of hitting that little bully?
Here is a Wikipedia page about the general topic of Carriage disputes.
So, what is the basis of the “News On 6”-Dish dispute? Is it strictly the price of carrying the station(s)?
Here is a comment from News On 6’s page about their previous dispute with Dish in January 2011, Attention DISH Network Subscribers: “Griffin Communications has agreements with every cable or satellite system and we have never had any issue negotiating a fair price for our service.” Is 2015 just chapter 2 (or higher) of the story?