Tuesday, May 21, 2013
PORTLAND – Maine customers of Dish Network will not be losing Portland's CBS affiliate TV station WGME (Channel 13) from their channel lineup.
Not for two weeks, at least.
WGME announced on its website Thursday morning that its owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, has reached an "agreement in principle" with Dish Network on a new contract to allow Dish to carry Sinclair stations.
The announcement says the two parties have entered into a two-week extension of the existing agreement "in order to allow the parties to work toward a final agreement."
John Hall, a spokesman for Dish Network, confirmed Thursday the two sides reached an "agreement in principle" and that Dish will continue to air WGME and other Sinclair stations.
The contract between Dish and Sinclair had been scheduled to expire at midnight Wednesday. WGME had warned Dish customers in Maine they could lose WGME if a new agreement or extension was not reached.
The agreement, among other things, dictates how much Dish pays Sinclair for the right to air its stations.
Neither side will talk about specifics of the stalemate, but a press release from Dish this week said Sinclair was asking for a "massive" price increase. A Sinclair press release said the requested increases are "substantially lower" than what Dish pays for "other far less popular channels."
Neither side will say how many Dish customers in Maine get WGME.
Sinclair is based in Hunt Valley, Md. It owns, programs or provides sales services to 74 broadcast television stations in 45 markets. Dish, based in Englewood, Colo., had about 14.1 million satellite television customers nationally as of June 30.
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: