Following is the e-mail that I received today, and my CBS channel isn't available via satellite. A screen when you tune to that channel has salient points from the e-mail. Dear Charise,
As you may
know, Morgan Murphy Media, the owner of WKBT, your local CBS affiliate, has
blocked this station from DISH customers. DISH has been negotiating with the
station in good faith and offers the best value in home entertainment by
protecting you from such unnecessary price increases.
Morgan Murphy Media
has demanded an outrageous rate increase of 200%. While it claims to be
only asking for pennies per day, its demand would be like charging $12 for a
gallon of milk and then saying it is only pennies more per sip. The reality is
that Morgan Murphy is demanding millions of dollars more over the life of a
DISH has negotiated agreements with hundreds of stations in the
past year, and many just this month, without interruption of service to our
valued customers. We know with certainty that the rates we are offering are fair
and in line with the marketplace. The bottom line is that we are open to a fair
and reasonable increase in Morgan Murphy’s fees.
In fact, DISH has made
two specific offers to avoid this disruption of service, including:
-Offering to unconditionally extend while we continue to negotiate
-Offering to pay the same fees our primary competitors pay
flatly refused all of these offers. The decision to withhold programming rests
100% with Morgan Murphy Media.
It is obvious that Morgan Murphy is
blatantly attempting to hold DISH customers and the NCAA basketball tournament
hostage in an effort to extract above market rates. This action is detrimental
to the viewing public. After all, WKBT is broadcast for free over the air via a
federal license intended to serve the public’s interests.
If you would
like to encourage Morgan Murphy Media to reach a fair agreement with DISH, you
may wish to reach out to:
Scott Chorski, VP/General Manager
I had been in contact with Scott Chorski, the general manager at WKBT, earlier this week. He sent me a thoughtful e-mail about the station's costs. However, he didn't say that the retransmission by Dish was adding any costs. I asked specifically about that, and I haven't received an answer yet. He only mentioned trying to get advertisers, the added cost of digital HD, and the tough economic times.
It appears to me that Morgan Murphy Media is just trying to tap into a revenue source that they see as having deep pockets. I have no idea if any of that is "trickling down" to the stations themselves.
The governor of Wisconsin has already "legislated" away over 10% of my pay each year. At this time more than ever, I'm against anything that will raise costs to me.