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· Cool Member
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like WFXS is trying to force dish to pay more for their channel. This is from their web site.

Last Edited: Friday, 26 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM CDT
Created: Friday, 26 Sep 2008, 4:46 PM CDT

URGENT NOTICE To Dish Network Satellite Customers!!!

Effective October 1st, WFXS will be removed from your Dish Network local station package. Dish network currently offers you the local Wausau/Rhinelander broadcast networks of WFXS (FOX), WAOW (ABC), WJFW(NBC) and WSAU (CBS) for around $5.00 per month. WFXS has attempted to negotiate a new licensing agreement with Dish Network to extend carriage beyond the current September 30th end date, but Dish Network is being difficult.

This problem does not affect either Over-The-Air viewers, DirecTV customers or Cable TV subscribers. Only the subscribers of Dish Network will be affected.

Subscribers will immediately lose access to the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and the rest of the NFC Football Schedule & Playoffs, NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the Milwaukee Brewers run for the World Series, along with top rated network shows like American Idol, House, 24, Bones and the Simpsons. You should act right away in order to get DirecTV, Cable TV or Over-The-Air Antenna service installed before the Packers next game on Sunday October 5th..

If Dish Network does remove our signal, they may not be able to restore it until May 1st, 2009 due to upcoming digital TV transition process which may prohibit lineup changes for several months.. Dish Network Customers need to make a change now!!!

Dish Network subscribers should immediately contact Direct TV or your local Cable provider to discuss what options they may have in order to continue getting all the local TV stations. Subscribers may try to contact Dish Network at 1-888-581-9813 and tell them that WFXS FOX55 and the NFL & FOX programming are very important to this market.

· Icon
695 Posts
Charlie is doing his usual posturing. He tells the customers that the other team isn't playing fair, and they will loose the channel. I won't say if they will or won't really drop it, but in most cases the channels he negotiates with only stay dark for a couple days before one side or the other breaks down and compromises.

In this case, your local station is trying to beat him at his own game. They will lose. The market is too small for Dish to cave in to a letter writing campaign.

BTW: The line about not restoring until next year is BS! Just turn the feed back on like it was.

This is what we get for having the cheapest service there is. Cheap means they are always trying to save a single dollar there and there.

Fox must be a weak station. I was at my Dad's in Pittsville this weekend and did a channel check on the DTV Pal I got for him. No Fox station, just CBS and ABC from Wausau.

· Cool Member
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm on dishes side of this dispute. Their message during the packer game is that they are seeking 7 cents more per subscriber to cover increasing program fees.

They don't get any money for people watching over the air, and they will have less people watching if the channel does get turned off. Which in turn will hurt their revenue for adds.

WFXS dosn't have a digital station airing yet. I have good OTA for the few times I do watch Fox.

· Cool Member
12 Posts
17pointer said:
I have good OTA for the few times I do watch Fox.
And that is a good idea.

While cable and satellite program providers will continue to serve the great majority of homes as the primary signal source, missing HD local reception, compression issues, higher costs, billing add-ons, service outages, contact difficulties, in-home service waits and no shows have left many of these subscribers looking to OTA antennas as a good supplement.

It is true that if you live very close to the transition towers, a wire coat hanger can pick up some broadcast signals. And viewers should certainly try their old antenna first. It's also true that any of these older antennas will pick up some signals, maybe all the broadcast signals a viewer wants to receive, depending on their location. If they're getting all the OTA channels they want, than they're good to go.

It is also true that Antennas can't tell the difference between analog and digital signals, but they certainly can between a UHF and VHF broadcast and there are definitely certain models which have higher DTV batting averages than others. Not all antennas are equally suited for DTV. A percentage of viewers will require something a little more tailored for DTV reception.

The correct antenna, installed and aimed properly, unimpeded by obstacles such as building, hills, trees, etc. will receive desired local stations in range it's aimed at. And the new antennas, working with the newer generation ATSC chips will mitigate multi-path (bounced signals), including multi-cast programming adding several additional local off-air programs and several in HD almost completely uncompressed, not available from cable or satellite. Some viewers may even be able to receive out-of-town channels, carrying blacked out sports programs or network broadcasts not available in their home town. As an added benefit, an OTA antenna provides reception for second sets in homes not wired for whole-house signal distribution.

Depending on the level of desire to receive all the broadcast signals available free, considering the investment in TV entertainment already made by many viewers, shouldn't they consider up-grading to a new digital OTA antenna or adding one to their reception options?

For a quick check of free OTA options, viewers can go to antennapoint.com to easily locate the broadcast stations within range and other OTA helpful information.

· Godfather
317 Posts
Looks like they updated their site yesterday, and again this morning with more info:

Urgent Notice Dish Network Update
Dish Network update as of 9/29/09
Last Edited: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2008, 12:31 PM CDT
Created: Monday, 29 Sep 2008, 3:58 PM CDT
WFXS, MyFoxWausau.com

Wausau --

Update as of 11:10am 9/30/08

WFXS is still waiting to hear back from Dish Network on the offer to compromise we made yesterday. Dish has still not made any counter offer to thier first edict and has not made any real effort to negotiate. Yesterday we spoke with Michael McKenna and Erin McIlvain only to be told in the conversation that they did not have the authority to negotiate anything in the middle ground and they needed to run it by Charlie, which I assume is Charles Ergen the CEO of Echostar.. We did get an e-mail this morning from Michael McKenna that said they were waiting on feedback from Charlie and would be in touch.

I have been told that in other markets, they have done the same exact thing only to terminate talks late in the day and terminate carriage as was apparently originally planned.

So far we have still been negotiating primarily with ourselves.. This is not going to end well at all I'm afraid.

I have also been told that the customer service people are starting to tell callers that our signal will be dropped and subscribers will see a message on the vacant channel.

Here are some links to stories on other network affiliates in other markets who have had the same trouble with DISH.. The first one is an ABC affiliate and the Q&A part tells the story well. This is a sample of what Dish Network is doing nationwide. http://www.2theadvocate.com/wbrz/18452049.html


Stay tuned here for any further updates......

Update as of 3:50pm 9/29/08

WFXS Vice President and General Manager Robert Raff held a conference call with representatives of Dish Network at 3:00pm today. Unfortunately, the conversation was not very fruitful and there is no change to the status.

Contrary to what they are now telling some subscribers who call them, Dish did not make any sort of counter offer, but we did. The Dish management basically said they had no authority to go any further with us and they had to check with Charlie E. They said that they were being tough on small independently owned TV stations because the larger group owned stations have more power in negotiations. They don't care about Packer or brewers fans, this is all about showing the bigger group owned stations they are playing hardball. I am shocked they actually said that out-loud. I suspect this is going to end very badly for Dish Subscribers.

The current licensing agreement with Dish Network expires at midnight Tuesday, September 30th, and without a new agreement, Dish Network will remove the local FOX affiliate from the local station package.

Viewers should contact Dish Network and voice their concern or request a refund due to the loss of WFXS. Subscribers may try to contact Dish Network at 1-888-581-9813 or try the "Escalation Department" at Dish Network 1-888-241-2195 and tell them that WFXS FOX55 and the NFL & FOX programming are very important to this market. Viewers should also contact DirecTV or their Local Cable providers to see what options they may have. WFXS has made available some helpful antenna information under the "About Us" tab of the station's website at www.myfoxwausau.com

If Dish Network does remove our signal, they may not be able to restore it until May 1st, 2009 due to the upcoming digital TV transition process which may prohibit lineup changes for several months.. Dish Network Customers need to take action now!!!

We understand that when you call Dish Network, the customer service reps may deny the issue and refuse to give you any further information. We do not know why Dish is not being honest with the subscribers, but apparently this is the same tactic they have used in other markets where they are having the same fight. WFXS is sharing information to try and help the affected viewers.


The people we have been trying to negotiate with at Dish Network are Michael McKenna and Erin McIlvain. They are apparently the President and the General Manager of Programming for Dish Network. Ask to speak directly with them if you don't get any information from the customer service representative. Tell them that you are already paying Dish Network for the local channels and you want them to negotiate a new deal with the station.

Check back to this website often for any further updates or for more information on special discount packages being offered by DirecTV or Cable providers for Dish Customers who choose to make a change. We hope to have some better options for you and we are asking other providers to add installation crews to handle the load better.

WFXS regrets the inconvenience this situation causes Dish Network subscribers and will attempt to keep Dish Network customers informed in a truthful and accurate way.

I think this is kinda sad since it is a small privately owned station. However, it sounds like the station management doesn't really plan to well ahead considering how their digital switchover is going. Who knows if DISH is in fact playing hardball or not, but I wouldn't take this station at their word.
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