DISH Network Sues Tribune in Ongoing ReTrans Fight

By Kevin Eck 

Dish Network is suing Tribune Broadcasting as the re trans battle between the two stretches into its second week.

“Dish’s suit claims Tribune’s actions amounted to ‘interference with contract and prospective economic advantage’ and has damaged the company’s goodwill with its customers,” reports Variety.

Tribune created a Dump DISH campaign which included a website and TV commercials. The Chicago Tribune says DISH is claiming the campaign dented the satellite provider’s brand. The re trans fight has taken 42 of Tribune’s stations off the satellite service.

Last week Tribune denied DISH’s request for binding arbitration to settle the matter. DISH evp of Programming Warren Schlichting said Tribune’s rejection was “an indication that it actually is angling for rates that are above fair market and that it wants to keep the Tribune channels off DISH as long as possible in order to continue to use innocent consumers as pawns to gain negotiating leverage against DISH.”

Calling the lawsuit “frivolous” Tribune responded by saying “This is typical for Dish Network. Dish constantly puts itself before the needs of its subscribers and our local viewers. Dish has forced other station groups and cable networks off its distribution system 15 times in the last three years—it’s one of the reasons the company has lost more than 150,000 subscribers in the last year alone.”

The fight went public on Sunday, June 12 when DISH pulled Tribune’s 42 owned or operated television stations when the contract between Tribune Broadcasting and DISH expired.