Super irritating... to start our nightly recording of local news on Portland's KATU (Channel 2) and find an endless loop of a DISH network notification that we can kiss our ABC subscription goodbye because DISH no longer has an agreement to carry KATU.
DISH says it's the greed of Fisher Communications that's at fault.
KATU says that DISH network should be willing to pay more for it's programming.
Here's what I say: to hell with both of you.
DISH network, you canceled without notice a channel that's been included in our package since we signed up with your satellite service. If we knew it could be eliminated at any time, we might have gone with DIRECTV.
If someone is thinking of signing up with DISH network, think again. Keep in mind that DISH can take away a favorite channel and not give you any warning.
KATU and Fisher Communications, we've been loyal viewers of the 11 o'clock news for many years. Plus other ABC shows. Now we'll be watching KOIN or KGW. I assume you'll be notifying your advertisers about this.
If someone is thinking of buying ad time on KATU, think again. Keep in mind that KATU can lose a significant share of its viewership and not give you any warning.
Here's the emails that I just sent to the CEO of DISH network and the general manager of KATU. A pox on both their TV houses.
Yes, we're upset...at DISH network. Every night we record the KATU 11 o'clock news. A storm is coming, but we don't know the details about it because all we could watch was your irritating endless loop about the KATU cancellation.
Which happened with no notice. Thankfully, Qwest has been sending us offers for switching to DIRECTV -- which we can get with a discount since we have DSL and local service.
Believe me, this will happen soon if KATU isn't back. And as an active blogger, I'm looking forward to letting other DISH subscribers across the country know that their channels can be cancelled at any moment without notice, and they should switch to Direct TV now if they're smart.
This is a bone-headed move on your part. And very un-Christmas like. Thanks for a crappy holiday present -- taking away our favorite local TV station. DISH has lost our confidence and I can't wait to switch to a reliable satellite provider.
I can't tell you how irritating it was to find that our DISH DVR didn't record the KATU news this evening, which we wanted to watch to see a forecast of the coming storm, but rather got an endlessly repeated loop about your station's greed.
I don't know whose fault this is. I've told DISH that we'll switch to DIRECTV if KATU isn't back soon.
But you should know that our long-time loyalty to KATU news is gone now. We like your news team best of the Portland stations. However, when your loyalty to satellite viewers is so minimal, we'll have no regrets about switching over to KOIN or KGW.
You should realize that once viewers are lost, they're tough to get back. And your advertisers should realize this also.
Shame on KATU for giving viewers like us such a lump of coal Christmas present: canceling our ABC programming.
Here are some tips on how to find KATU during the pissing match...
(And of course you mentioned one solution: DirecTV, above) ...here's hoping the parties can agree, and soon -- the loser is us, the customer -- clearly. :-/
Posted by: BMW | December 18, 2008 at 02:23 AM
I too have sent messages to KATUs General Manager & their parent Corp, Fischer Communications.
I'm already thinking about my alternatives.
I'm only greatful that new episodes of my ABC programming won't be on until the first week in January.
By then, I'll know if I need an alternative service.
ABCless in Vancouver, WA
Posted by: Angie in WA State | December 18, 2008 at 04:10 AM
We have Direct Way; so don't have that right now but do you suppose KATU is having problems surviving at all? I know some media is in big trouble and might go off the air; so could this be a product of that and dish is afraid to raise rates for fear of losing more of their customers? I suspect in terms of newspapers, magazines, and media, we are going to see changes in what survives. The internet has cut into a lot of the profits too. Now I don't know what the situation with KATU is and maybe it's purely wanting more profit but if it happens to be survival, then you would lose them even if they didn't do this eventually as nobody can keep operating without sufficient revenue. I rarely watch TV; so even though we do subscribe to Portland stations, paying extra to do so, none of it goes on much.
Posted by: Rain | December 18, 2008 at 07:06 AM
Is this a dispute between the local station or the whole ABC network? If the former, how do they justify getting as much as ANY national channel such as ESPN2? How much does DISH pay the other local channels?
Posted by: Viewer | December 18, 2008 at 08:31 AM
Talk about a bunch of bull. I have been a loyal watcher of KATU and their Seattle sister station for years. Oh well, I guess money talks and the viewers are the pawns. As for Dish, this is it for me. When my contract is up, I'm gone.
Posted by: Ticked in SW Washington | December 18, 2008 at 09:17 AM
This issue is between Dish Network and Fisher Broadcasting (KATU in Portland, and KOMO in Seattle). I can't believe that ABC has allowed this to happen. ABC has now lost all national programming to Dish Network Customers in the Portland and Seattle markets. Obviously, both sides are consumed by greed in this matter.
I too am currently considering switching providers. Dish network is not meeting the needs of viewers in the northwest, case in point Comcast Sports net. Dish has "negotiated" for the last year and half with no results. Same situation with Fox Business channel over the last 2 years. I'm starting to think that the only way we're going to be heard is by taking our moneys someplace else.
Posted by: an abused consumer | December 18, 2008 at 09:56 AM
It is funny how greedy these corporations are....and they wonder why people pirate stuff. I'll be downloading all of my abc shows from now on!
Posted by: tired of corporate greed at every turn | December 18, 2008 at 10:18 AM
Here's a pretty good analysis of what's going on:
I lean toward this guy's take on the situation -- that Fisher Communications is more to blame than DISH. That hasn't stopped me from going to the DIRECTV web site today, though, and learning about their receivers.
What irks me the most, something I forgot to mention last night, is how DISH and KATU/Fisher are using customers/viewers as negotiators for them.
The high paid CEOs of these companies should be able to work out a fair deal without dragging innocent bystanders into the mess. Somehow our garbage company manages to keep collecting our trash, even though I'm sure it's being squeezed by lower recycling prices.
And PGE keeps our power on even though it has to negotiate energy rates with the BPA and other providers. DISH has done this before, telling customers to tell someone else something, and it ticks me off when the CEO can't handle his own negotiating.
Posted by: Brian | December 18, 2008 at 10:24 AM
Thanks for the link! This wasn't completely without warning for us - we happened to catch one of the ads that KATU ran warning us of this last night - and it appears from the letter the Dish CEO/President sent Fisher, they were willing to extend the current contract until at least March, but apparently KATU disagreed.
BTW, in case anyone thinks I'm a DISH cheerleader... not likely. I'm rather pissed that because I'm a current customer I'm gonna get keelhauled on a monthly basis if I want to upgrade to HD programming and keep the same features (dual-input DVR primarily). New customers get amazingly wonderful discounts... not us. Unfortunately DirectTV (which my employer is a reseller of) isn't offering much better in the way of deals.
What idiot only wants a single input DVR anyway? If I can't watch and record two channels simultaneously, what's the real purpose?
Posted by: Jeff Shultz | December 18, 2008 at 11:26 AM
Jeff Shultz: I have Directv, and several dual-tuner DVRs. I had DISH for one day, and they only offered single-tuner, which I don't think serves any purpose. Directv has never offered, in the five years or so I've been with them, a single-tuner version (thank God!). And one of my DVRs is high-def (from Directv), and it's dual-tuner.
I'm not sure where you are hearing that Directv doesn't offer a better deal than DISH. IT DOES.
Posted by: IHeartTV | December 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM
Here's the number for Fisher Communications Corporate headquarters: 206-404-7000. You can skip to a live person by pressing 3 when you get to the recording. I'd urge everyone to call today. Tell them that you support Dish Network and will are willing to obtain programing over the internet and via the old antenna for free.
Posted by: Fisher can shove it. | December 18, 2008 at 11:44 AM
The way I see it, KATU wants DISH to pay for something that is technicly free. KATU is the party at fault for this, not DISH.
Posted by: No ABC in SE Portland | December 18, 2008 at 11:57 AM
I have Dishnetwork, and I kind of regret it.
1. No option to purchase Blazers network.
2. No option to purchase NFL package.
3. Now, not even Broadcasting KATU.
I have no doubt this original conflict was caused by Fischer's greed (and If I was an advertiser I be pretty concerned about the loss of market penetration), but DishNetwork doesn't exactly have a stellar record for being able to successfully negotiate to provide the best programming for its customers.
Apparently, Dish Network does not want more of my money by providing programming I would like to purchase.
That's a pretty odd business model, which begs the question: Are the guys who run GM moonlighting at Dishnetwork's headquarters?
Posted by: Pat Malach | December 18, 2008 at 01:33 PM
More bad news: I just learned that Fisher is suing DISH on several fronts. See this news release:
Looks like the pissing match between DISH and Fisher is getting even pissier. I don't want to punish DISH, because they seem to be the less guilty party, but DIRECTV is looking better and better to me. (Partly because the channel offerings appear superior to DISH's.)
Posted by: Brian | December 18, 2008 at 01:34 PM
Nice blog, I just blogged about the same thing. Hope we get our programming back soon.
Posted by: Ashley | December 18, 2008 at 01:36 PM
Shame on both sides. Either one could stop this, but both are greedy.
1. Dish could offer ALL the locals for no charge and then they would not need to pay KATU anything. (According to the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act).
2. KATU could go along with the 'scam' that Dish has going of charging for locals, and continue to receive some form of compensation from Dish customers.
We all need to look after ourselves and add an antenna, and then drop the charge for local channels. Right now it is more profitable for Dish to pay the local providers an amount smaller than what they charge the customers.
Silly world that we live in.
Posted by: Free Locals Please | December 18, 2008 at 01:59 PM
The below is somewhat of a rant...but as a former research person for a Portland broadcast station, I hope it provides some perspective. (Be warned I will not be proofreading or spell checking this...)
Rant Starts Here: KATU is doing the right thing! And the rest need to do it too!
Okay...I love a lot of the above posts and I think you are all thinking in the right direction. If you REALLY want to do a true analysis of what Fisher is doing you need to look beyond the he said/she saids. KATU is doing what ALL of the locals may have to do to survive. Broadcast television stations represent the OVERWHELMING majority of satellite/cable viewing (look at ratings books if you don't believe me.) If you look at the DMA ratings for channels 2-49 (2) (6) (8) (10) (12) (22) (32) (49) you will notice that these have most of the viewing. Channel 2, 6, 8, 12 (I'm guessing...no longer in the business) have the majority within that group.
Now for some TV 101
Local TV stations make the MAJORITY of their money from advertising-period. They don't (yet) have some complex business model to make money from "pass through" fees to the cable/satellite companies. HBO and Comcast Sports Net for example CHARGE the carrier and the carrier passes the fee onto the subscriber (YOU.) (If you were to look at your cable/satellite bill you would be quite surprised on how many pennies on your dollar goes to a station you may not even watch.
Another factor: Cable/ADS (Alternate Delivery Service) Penetration
The percentage of people watching local broadcast channels over something like a satellite or cable has been increasing dramatically in the past couple of years (can you say fear of the digital tv transition...what an opportunity for cable/satellite companies to gain customers.) In some rural parts of Oregon 70% of a locale watches their TV on Dish/Direct. As I mentioned above, these viewers watch the major networks (you won't see huge ratings for Lifetime or TVLand.) They want to see their network shows and somewhat local news (the whole distant network waiver argument is a separate one.)
My Attempt To Tie It All Together:
Dish/Direct/Cable Companies would go out of business if they did not offer NBC CBS ABC FOX to their viewers. They NEED these local affiliates because they are extremely valuable to them. Ironically those local affiliates don't see much (if any) money from Direct or Dish or Cable...meanwhile they make tons of cash!
Please note that I acknowledge that there is a whole other side of this argument, but I think it's important to understand the BIG picture.
1. Local TV stations are FREE* to you because of local advertising (*except for the cost of an antenna.)
2. I would bet that advertising pays for most of the TV you watch (even OPB is doing it.)
3. If advertisers think you aren't watching their commercials, they will pay less or not at all (or go elsewhere.)
4. Cable/Satellite companies exploit the fact that the broadcast business didn't consider that someone would come along resell their product (for a profit)
The Future: Local TV Stations Are In Trouble
Yep...it's true...that's why I got out of TV. You (the viewers) fast forward through commercials, you don't write what you really watched in your Nielsen Diary (just wait until people meters), some of you watch your favorite shows on HULU or iTunes or download them illegally. All of these factors hurt the most at the local level.
As I mentioned, local TV comes from local ad $ and we have all figured out a way to circumvent having to watch advertising. I project that local TV will crash first, followed by the major networks (although they may survive, but the quality of their programming will drop.) Eventually we will go to the internet for all of our programming after all digital TV sets are just huge computer screens.
Posted by: Chuch Silver | December 18, 2008 at 03:21 PM
If they regulated the damn sound from tv ads not to blast my eardrums when a show brakes to the commercial then I'd watch more tv ads.
I am a dish subscriber, and I am not missing much of ABC. Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, and maybe a few other odds and ends.
Posted by: Steve in Salem, OR | December 18, 2008 at 03:54 PM
Please realise this happens with both DirecTV and Dish every so often When DirecTV's contract comes up it may happen to them or they will pay the high rates and pass them on to you. Dish needs to stand up and not tolerate the high rate increase. You complain now when the station is gone. I am ticked too. But then January 1st when your Dish bill goes up because of the rate increase becase Dish bent over and took it then your screamming again that your going to DirecTV cause they cost less.
Posted by: scott | December 18, 2008 at 05:48 PM
We live in Washington, so we're impacted via KOMO out of Seattle by the same thing. I have contacted KOMO (no response), contacted DISH (they responded, but just a form letter) and I also sent a letter out to ABC (these are the ones that are most impacted.)
I then called DISH, and what I realized is this:
1 - Where DISH is concerned, yes we have a "hammer" if you will, we can go to their Competitor (DirectTV). BUT, if Fisher Broadcasting is believing that their "Award Winning News, Sports & Entertainment" television is worth more than anyone else's, then don't you think that when their contract is up with DirectTV they're going to be expecting the same outrageous increase?
2 - KOMO (Fisher Broadcasting) there is no hammer. What do they really care if they lose a viewer? They lost us anyway when they made the decision to ask for the significant increase in fees from DISH. They had to know that there would be fallout.
3 - ABC. These are the folks that I think would be most interested in knowing that most everyone in the Pacific Northwest that has DISH is no longer viewing their network programming due to the greed of one of their affiliates? I have tried to find a way to reach these folks, but to no avail. I have emailed them using their online form, but I feel like having sent that and thinking it's going to be read is much like hoping that the snow is going to be gone by morning.
As I told the gentleman at DISH - I don't really care about watching the local ABC affiliate anymore. I just want ANY ABC Affiliate. It's the ABC programming that I'd like to view.
I wouldn't have expected DISH to notify us that they were going to possibly lose this contract. Announcing that may have done nothing other than rile folks up only to have the situation resolved with no interruption in service. It just so happens, that was not the end result in this case.
Posted by: RBaxley | December 18, 2008 at 08:41 PM
Okay...I'm back...this time with less ranting.
Here are some useful links to help everyone pick a side (all of which are factors in this)
1. Reverse Compensation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_compensation
(If you think ABC cares about being kicked off Dish in Portland...you're mistaken..they already have their money)
2. Must-Carry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Must-carry#United_States
3. Carriage Fee: (still looking for an objective definition...help?)
Interesting and Relevant:
1. Dish has bullied before: http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/legal-services-litigation/5580336-1.html
2. Greedy? Fisher is in trouble: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008528477_webfisherco16.html
3. Solution To The Problem (but will never happen): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_and_Consumer_Choice_Act_of_2007
Posted by: Chuch Silver | December 18, 2008 at 10:22 PM
We are canceling our Dish contract, even though we have 6 months left on our contract.
We will be transferring to Direct. We have never heard of a major station being deleted from a lineup. Dish should have (or should) make some compensation. I would rather pay extra and keep ABC and Fisher stations.
Posted by: Mary Myers | December 18, 2008 at 10:36 PM
You people are funny....If you do not think this has not happened to direct tv and cable you are so mistaken, it has and does. I was in Austin a few months ago and the Time Warner Cable company did not have the local NBC affiliate.
Posted by: Andy | December 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM
Good for Dish! Hold firm and negotiate a reasonable rate! In the meantime I am enjoying KGW news and can watch my favorite ABC shows over the internet or using an over the air antenna. Further, I can use my Dish DVR receiver to tune in to KATU in HD using an ordinary antenna! Interesting Fisher is raising the rate by 83% on a service that is available for free.
Posted by: sporfrog | December 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM
You do not have to wait until your contract is up with the Dish network! They have not lived up to their part about giving you the programs you are paying for.
I had a problem with Dish and call in an I found out that I could change before the contract way complete, with no penalties, you might have to press a bit though. The problem was that Direct TV was actually more expensive than Dish. So I am forced to stay with Dish.
I agree both of the companies SUCK. KATU was always second on my list, behind KGW
Posted by: bikerart | December 19, 2008 at 06:10 PM
Here at the coast we can't get broadcasts via antenna so that is not an option.
Posted by: LJ | December 19, 2008 at 07:07 PM
Here is the problem - if Dish gives into the ridiculous 80% increase - then our rates go up. They are already going up anyway. An 80% increase is simply ridiculous.
Posted by: Jim | December 20, 2008 at 02:19 PM
Well, I'm leaning toward hanging on with DISH for a while -- though if we're still ABC-less when the new season of Lost starts, I could change my mind.
One issue is that I absolutely love the 30 second skip button on the DISH DVR remote. Can't imagine watching TV without it. Two minute commercial breaks are zipped through in four button presses.
Plus, in college football games usually 30 seconds is almost exactly the time between a play being whistled dead and the start of the next play. So I can see an entire game quickly without all of the huddles and commentary. (A hurry up offense like the Oregon Ducks use causes me problems, but the DISH remote has a 10 second back button that I use a lot with Duck games -- 30 seconds forward, 10 seconds back.)
Researching DirecTV remotes, I was dismayed to see their 30 second button called a "slip" rather than a "skip." See:
You just fast forward through the 30 seconds. DirecTV tries to make this into a plus ("skipping without missing") but it's just a suckup to advertisers. I want to skip commercials, not slip through them.
Also, I fault Fisher more than DISH. I agree with Scott's comment about Fisher/KATU on this discussion of the dustup.
"They are not a cable network, they are a broadcast television station that provides their signal for free via over the air. Any cable of satellite company delivering their signal is helping them gain more viewers which turns into increased ad revenue.
Perhaps the key to this is indeed their sponsors, perhaps its time viewers contact them and let them know whats going on and how many eyeballs are no longer seeing their ads."
Yes -- KATU and the other Fisher stations offer their programming for free to anyone with an antenna. Then they want to charge satellite providers for what they give away free to others. More viewers, more advertising revenue. If anything, Fisher should be paying DISH, not the other way around.
Posted by: Brian | December 20, 2008 at 06:05 PM
I used to love Dish Network, but now I feel I've been scammed. They called me last week, and offered me free HBO package since I was "such a valuable customer" (I have been with Dish Network for over 7 years). Of course it would require a 2 year commitment, but really, that didn't bother me as for the most part, I have no complaints about them (save the issue with Comcast Sportsnet, which I used to think was Comcast being greedy, but now I'm not so sure). Anyway, I agree to the package, and the next day I find out my local ABC affiliate has been pulled. I'd like to hear how many other Portland area customers were given this "special" offer. Also, I'd like to know if I have recourse to pull out of this deal, since I feel I didn't have all the pertinent information?
Posted by: H.Paschall | December 21, 2008 at 10:08 AM
Okay. So I'm confused at what some people are saying about KATU being money-nazi's because you can get their station for free over an antennae. Sure you can. Free with an antennae. Just you the consumer and your one time fee for the antennae. Great!
But DISH charges you $5.00 per month for local programming. DISH is charging for "free" stations. Why are they charging? To make a profit. So, why isn't KATU/KOMO entitled to part of that? They are. Plain and simple business.
If I created a product that I made available for relatively free, and then some dude turns around and takes my product and starts selling it to others, damn right I'm going to want part of that profit. Duh.
Is Fisher's increase of 80% justified? Who knows. We don't know how much DISH is paying other local affiliates to even made a judgement on if what Fisher is asking for is FAIR. We don't have all the facts.
Plus, if DISH is getting hog-tied here, why haven't they paid the money to Fisher they owe on their old contract?
Yes. It's about the almighty dollar. That's what makes this world go round. You are fooling yourself if you think otherwise. EveryTHING has a price. We customers are in the midst of a stubborn war.
Posted by: VictoryLane | December 23, 2008 at 09:25 PM
Short but sweet:
1) I don't pay for local channels with DISH, it was included with my package at no extra charge when I lived in Portland.
2) Contact your cable company. Ask for a "basic package". In most places it's $10 - $15 a month and includes all the network channels. This is what I have to do in places like Bend because the local channels won't allow Dish to carry them.
3) Option 2 above also allows you to watch one station while recording on a single DVR - another plus if you don't have dual receivers.
4) I'm on DISH's side on this one - Fischer is way out of line. They would not agree to a short term contract thru the storm and football season. They would also be one of the highest paid carriage fees in the country - they're not that good.
Posted by: Terry | December 25, 2008 at 02:53 AM
Terry, lots of rural areas, like ours, don't have cable service. So that option is out for us.
Posted by: Brian | December 25, 2008 at 10:26 AM
First off you are all right, but Dish network is really pushing that broadcast stations don't pay for programming which is a lie!!!!
the CEO of Dish should be ashamed he's going on TV and pulling the wool over your heads.
Yes network tv gets compensated for NETWORK programming only!!
Not syndicated or other programming that's all paid for by the station and yes those prices increase every year so they have to charge more in ad revenue to pay for it.
now dish wants to take that signal and charge you for it as it's copyrighted it needs a re broadcast agreement has to be made for rebroadcast yes dish is considered a rebroadcast......
but they want locals for free and charge you because they spent money on equipment to get it to you.
your local stations all spent millions of dollars for over the air HD in the last few years as required by FCC and do not charge you a viewer a nickel.
what Dish network is not saying is that Fisher wants a new contract that will last years by the way, where compesation will be raised from 8 cents a subscriber to 15 cents a subscriber...a 80% increase, dish only pays right now your locals 8 cents a subscriber and charge you $5 bucks a month for the locals which in some areas is only 4 channels so 8x4 = 32 cents and then they charge you 5 bucks again who's being greedy here.
The broadcast stations have been free for over 50 years but the times are changing and they cant let anyone rebroadcast there signal and charge for it unless there is fair compesation. just like fast food places don't give out food for free.
if all the locals were paid 15 cents each 15 x 4= 60 cents total dish still gets 4.40 a month left over so who is really greedy.
Dish also is stalling on bringing local HD to there service saying it would cost to much and they don't have the equipment or bandwith again times are changing they have to adapt to survive just like broadcasters. and trust me there rates will go up with or without Fisher.
I am not a employee of Fisher or Dish.
Posted by: george festrunk | December 25, 2008 at 08:34 PM
Bottom line is..... t.v. stations make money from commercials and those commercials are not getting to our eyeballs if you can't get their station.Let's try a more round about method.E-mail you local NBC,CBS or FOX station and tell them you have switched to watching their local newscasts.We are strong and our eyeballs are very valuable to your local newscasts,eyeballs mean money!Our e-mails are important we just need to get them out there.To more noise the better.
Posted by: George | December 26, 2008 at 09:24 AM
We are on the coast too (Astoria), so antenna is not an option. We called 2 nights ago to Directv to enquire, and they gave us an install date of 12/29. We didn't sign-up, and decided today to make the switch. We now have an install date of 1/16 due to the sudden overload of installs. Looks like an s-load of Dish customers are jumping ship.
I phoned Dish earlier this week, and after finally reaching a customer service agent on US soil, he did give me three free months of locals. OH WOW... what am I going to do with all the money! I may splurge and treat someone to 3 Big Macs with my *windfall* of savings.
An option I do have (all of us actually), is to change my billing address to my parents house in the Bay Area. This would give me all my networks - but from the SF/Oakland/San Jose. And not that I would mind getting Bay Area affiliates... we do not want to part with KGW news - we love KGW.
We would supplement cable with our Dish, but in Astoria basic bare bones cable with Charter Cable is a whopping $52.99 a month (after their 6 mo. promotional special of $44.99 ends). Charter + no-antenna-service = robbery.
I feel that both KATU and Dish have told us to bend over, and we the viewers and advertisers are their pawns/victims... the new season of LOST is on the horizon, and, well... Gotta have my LOST.
Comparing the DVR Directv plan with our DVR Dish plan... WITH an upgrade to HD... all the same options/bells-n-whistles... We'll be getting HD DVR service, the same 3 tvs with boxes, the same channels, and after a year of new customer bennies... we'll be saving over $5 a month. With HD and $5 savings and being able to get out of our Dish contract - this Fisher/Dish squabble may be a blessing in disguise for my family. Maybe it will be for others too?!
But I'm still ticked.
Posted by: happy zombie | December 26, 2008 at 12:47 PM
Is there no way to get some other ABC affiliate in place of the Portland one?? I mean why not just ask them to give you some other ABC channel other than KATU??
Posted by: Brad | January 01, 2009 at 02:04 PM
Brad, DISH says this isn't possible -- that copyright laws, or something like that, prevents DISH from offering an ABC station elsewhere in the country. So for us it's KATU or nothing, I guess (aside from using ABC.com to download episodes of certain shows).
Posted by: Brian | January 01, 2009 at 10:02 PM
To me KATU has everything to gain but nothing to lose by providing a signal for free to Comcast. Let's face it, local TV is supported by advertising. By not piping in the signal to Comcast is a lose/lose situation for KATU. If Dish customers are not exposed the KATU's advertisers because of the Thousands of TV's lacking the signal, then it's to KATU's folly. KATU should be paying Dish to carry their signal, not the other way around. What's wrong with KATU's management these days?
Get it handled guys, the other 3 networks did.
Posted by: Mike James | January 05, 2009 at 12:25 PM
Fisher Communications will not negotiate with any of our local cable companies either. It's not just DISH they are "dishing". I know this may sound like an alien idea, but I am just watching other channels. There are quite a few of them!! I have some programs that were my favorites I am going to miss, but if that is the worst of my problems, I'll consider myself lucky. I would rather lose KATU than have my bill raised. If it gets any higher I will have to get rid of it anyway, so I am grateful DISH and the small local cable companies are standing strong.
Posted by: Brandy Hill | January 05, 2009 at 12:43 PM
A thing to consider about the "math" cited above... Satellite TV providers broadcast the same ESPN or CNN to everyone on their system in the entire US. There may be a few time zone versions, however no more than 4. However for Dish to provide ABC they are required to deliver only the local version of it. Now consider every market in the U.S. and consider how many stations for just ABC Dish has to keep track of, pay for and broadcast over an already limited bandwidth satellite system. Consider all that overhead before you believe Dish pays only $0.32 or $0.60 for something they charge you $5 for. Also consider for comparison that the audience for KATU is local, not national, and it has nowhere near as many viewers as the national channels.
That being said, before this little issue, in Portland, Dish provided 7 networks - 4 of which were both in standard and HD. Perhaps, roughly, they should reduce the charge for locals by about $0.50 for existing customers who have lost KATU in SD and another $0.50 for KATU in HD?
Posted by: sporfrog | January 05, 2009 at 02:58 PM
I got screwed twice by Dish in 2008. Please take a look at this. If you saw the informercial it was like a bad Bush political one sided move. It was disgusting. Charlie has a reputation of being cheap. Just ask yourselves why DirectTV doesn't have the same problems or TimeWarner? Look at this forum. They screwed me over with taking away one of my favorite channels being GolTV.
Posted by: Juan from Seattle | January 06, 2009 at 09:45 PM
I have had dish network for many yrs. My husband & I miss our Wheel of fortune & a few other programs that we watch on Katu. We have missed the parade on New Years, & the football game. If we don't get it back soon, we will turn to another network. I know direct TV carries Katu. My daughter has it. So please settle your differences, so we can can continue with the programs that we are missing.
Posted by: Laverna Powers | January 17, 2009 at 08:45 AM
Maybe you all should consider getting a life other than TeeVee. There are many more important issues than worrying about whether or not you'll miss Wheel of Fortune.
No wonder our country's in such a mess.
Posted by: Ann Seder | February 14, 2009 at 05:11 PM
Ann... oh, my God! What are you saying? There is a life without television??!!
Nooooooooo... unthinkable. DIdn't Descartes so wisely say, "I watch TV, therefore I am"? (Or maybe it was someone else, like me.)
Watching television is the most important thing I do each day. Particularly The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.
WIthout it -- existential emptiness.
Posted by: Brian | February 14, 2009 at 05:20 PM
Hi Brian, Mike your lake neighbor here...
We finally had to succumb as well and converted to DirecTV. Unfortunately, the experience hasn't been that pleasant.
I initially tried all the usual OTA BS with rabbit ears and such to no avail. Finally I pulled the DirecTV trigger.
Now that we're on DirecTV (HD DVR), I'm realizing how much I miss all the techie stuff that Dish really did well.
The DTV DVR and software is clunky and devoid of many key features and hot keys. I'm slowly learning that I can probably, eventually, do 75% of the functions I used to do with my Dish DVR, but I just have to find all the nested buried menu items to do them. Dish system used to have single push button access to things or auto pop-up menus that went right where I needed.
Channelwise, DTV blows away Dish. I'll give 'em that much. But the receiver/DVR doesn't play nice with my TV, so formatting is hosed up on SD content and audio won't work through HDMI. They claim it's my TV, which is always a possibility, but the Dish DVR had none of these issues.
I'm wondering if it wouldn't have been better to connect an old PC to my TV and download episodes.... this whole experience has definitely renewed my interest in accelerating the inevitable merging of TV/Internet/Media.
I've got 2 years to figure it out before my current DTV contract expires....
Posted by: Mike M | April 01, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Mike, I'm wondering if you have the same receiver and remote control that we do. We got the HD DVR, which I think is the top of the line model (free upgrade at the time we signed up, I recall).
It has colored "hot keys" -- red, yellow, green, blue -- that let you do various stuff with a key press, rather than a menu search. Like, delete a recorded program with the red button.
As I noted on this post, the main thing I miss that the DISH remote had is a genuine 30 second advance. DirectTV fast forwards quickly. But if you press the advance button twice too quickly, the DVR jumps to the end of the recorded program. That's irritating, especially if the program is a sports event and the end shows the winning coach being interviewed, or something like that.
Otherwise, we're still happy with DirecTV. We now watch Channel 8 (KGW) news from Portland, rather than Channel 2. This should show Fisher Communications that its continuing contract dispute with DISH has hurt both parties. DISH is losing customers and Fisher is losing some viewers who found greener TV pastures during the time ABC wasn't available on DISH.
Posted by: Brian | April 07, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Dish Network has been great for me, but I keep coming across stories of people who have had really bad experiences with them, there are some really funny vents about them here>.
Posted by: Tara Snow | August 11, 2011 at 10:13 AM