Statement regarding our negotiations with Dish Network - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Statement regarding our negotiations with Dish Network

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Contrary to what you may have been told or read, FOX 54 has asked Dish to pay rates comparable to those being paid by your local cable systems now. That is fair and equitable, as already determined by the marketplace. Please read on.

Dish Network is a billion-dollar Denver based corporation whose size and revenue dwarfs that of FOX 54. Importantly, almost all the money you pay to Dish each month leaves this area for good, while almost all the money we make stays right here in Northern Alabama, including any we get from Dish. The same is true for the area's other broadcast TV stations.

For years, Dish, DirecTV and cable systems have been paying substantial fees to carry channels that are far less popular than FOX 54. Those channels do not offer, for example, NFL football, NASCAR, and highly-watched shows like American Idol, Glee, or The Big Bang Theory. Nor do they offer anywhere near the amount of local news and public affairs programming we provide at FOX 54.

The simple fact is that FOX 54 is among the top four most-watched channels, according to Dish, and often #1 or #2 in Prime Time, according to Nielsen. But, we are only seeking to be paid a fraction of what Dish is paying other channels with much smaller viewership (oh, about that 250% rate increase ... we wish!).

We understand the public's frustration with this situation, and we remain committed to reaching a solution with Dish without disrupting FOX 54's programming. But, as in any business negotiation, that solution has to be fair to both sides. We repeat that Dish has been asked to pay rates comparable to those being paid by your local cable systems now. That is fair and equitable. And much is at stake – the fees we negotiate with Dish will help pay the salaries of our employees, sustain our programming operations, and maintain our contribution to the local economy.

We hope that after weighing both sides you will stand up for our community and support FOX 54 and all your other LOCAL TV channels in this matter.

Thank you.

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