Network based systems

DISH Network subscribers: ABC 6 has been removed from the channel list


November 11, 2022

DISH Network and WLNE are at an impasse in negotiating a renewal of the agreement which provides for the distribution of the station on the DISH Network satellite system. As a result, WLNE is no longer carried by DISH as of 7:00 p.m. ET on November 11, 2022.

The loss of our station on DISH is solely the decision of DISH. In fact, in an effort to ensure that our valuable programming remains available to DISH customers as we continue to trade, we have offered DISH an extension of our current agreement. Unfortunately and inexplicably, DISH refuses to agree to this extension. Instead, DISH prefers to remove our station – denying you access to your local news, sports and weather.

Every three years, we negotiate with distributors of multi-channel video programming to carry our broadcast signal. These include video providers such as DIRECTV, Verizon, Comcast, charterand Cox Communications. We have negotiated long-term agreements with each of these entities. These providers recognize the value of WLNE’s award-winning local news and the highly rated programming offered by ABC, such as Gray’s Anatomy and ABC News.. Additionally, WLNE provides extensive coverage of hazardous weather conditions, road closures, school and business closures, and more.

While we were hoping to strike a new deal with DISH without disruption, that didn’t happen. DISH has not only chosen not to agree to an extension of the current agreement, but also continues to insist on new material terms, including economic terms, which undervalue our station, including the important role we play during major news and weather events.

Our station cannot and will not be coerced into making bad business decisions by DISH, a multi-billion dollar company. Making such bad business decisions would be bad for our station – and our viewers – because it would negatively impact our ability to produce local news, sports and weather coverage, as well as provide ABC programming, you expect and depend on WLNE ABC 6.

We will continue to negotiate with DISH in the hope that DISH will see the true value that our station brings to you and the people who live in this area.

As a DISH customer, we know you are frustrated with this situation. Unfortunately, when we are involved in a commercial matter like this, it affects you. This part is very difficult for us because it’s the last thing we want to happen. We want our programming to be there for you; and, at this time, our programming is not available on DISH Network. For this, we apologize.

Despite what DISH might say, however, we haven’t “blacked out” our station. WLNE ABC 6 is available live via antenna. Additionally, WLNE ABC 6 remains available on DIRECTV and other local cable operators.

To contact DISH Network to voice your concerns, you may call DISH at 800-333-3474.

Thank you for your support.


What is all this?
A federal law first enacted in 1992 allows television stations to negotiate distribution terms, including compensation, with multi-channel video program distributors such as DISH. WLNE’s parent company and DISH Network were in the process of negotiating a renewal of the deal that grants DISH the right to carry the station. This agreement expired in August 2021 and WLNE offered DISH several extensions in an attempt to secure a new agreement. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move forward with DISH, little progress has been made.

Why can’t you come to an agreement?
DISH declined to negotiate appropriate market value retransmission compensation for WLNE. DISH believes it should pay significantly less than any other video provider for our highly rated and award-winning ABC Network news, weather coverage and programming, such as Grays Anatomy and ABC News.

Why should DISH pay to stream freely available TV stations live?
WLNE is available over-the-air for free to our viewers, but our signal is not free to subscriber-based services such as DISH Network who repackage our signal and sell it to their subscribers for a profit. In fact, the law requires DISH Network to obtain a retransmission consent agreement to broadcast our station and to negotiate in good faith with us in return for granting our consent.

Are these disputes common with DISH?
Unfortunately yes. Over the past few years, DISH has had disputes with hundreds of local TV stations. While the duration of these disputes has varied, DISH has had disputes that have lasted for months.

How can I find your station?
WLNE continues to be available over-the-air and is also available on all other multi-channel video programming distributors in the region, including; DIRECTV, Verizon, Comcast, charterand Cox Communications.

What can I do to help get WLNE back on DISH?
The best thing you can do is let DISH Network know how much you appreciate WLNE and that they need to keep local channels like WLNE on their system to retain you as a customer. DISH Network can be reached at (800) 333-3474.

Can I contact WLNE?
Yes of course. We encourage our viewers to give us feedback and allow us to answer your questions. Our offices are open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on public holidays. If we’re not there, leave a message and we’ll call you back. Our office number is 401-453-8000. We look forward to speaking with any DISH subscriber one-on-one and sharing our side of the story.

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