Dish drops WCVB after stalled contract negotiations

Local News

A contract allowing Dish Network to carry WCVB Channel 5 and other Hearst Television affiliates expired Friday, cutting off programming to local satellite subscribers.

Local news station WCVB-TV is no longer being carried by Dish’s satellite system following stalled negotiations over distribution rates, the station announced Friday.

The previous agreement had been set to expire at midnight on July 31, but was extended by Hearst Television, WCVB’s parent company, multiple times until 2 p.m. Friday. However, negotiations ultimately reached an impasse, forcing Dish to drop WCVB and 36 other Hearst Television affiliates across 27 markets, according to the statement.

The local channels impacted are Standard-Definition Channel 5 and High-Definition Channel 6318.

“Unfortunately, the Dish negotiating team is seeking the right to carry our stations at below market rates, which is neither fair nor reasonable given the significant investments we have made to deliver top-tier programming to our viewers,” said WCVB President and General Manager Kyle I. Grimes. “We regret the inconvenience Dish’s demands has imposed on its subscribers, and we will keep our communities fully informed of developments.”

In a news release, Dish said Hearst is demanding tens of millions of dollars in rate increases that would affect customers. “Demanding higher rates for the same entertainment and news just doesn’t make sense, especially as Hearst’s content is widely available on other platforms,” the company said. 

Grimes said WCVB had not “blacked out” the station, as viewers can access it for free, over the air, and, where available, from local cable or other satellite operators.

Viewers can determine the type of antenna needed to receive the signals of Hearst Stations at