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Dish, Sinclair extend contract to prevent removal of 100+ channels from satellite TV service

More than 3 million subscribers to satellite TV provider Dish won’t lose any local channels just yet.

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Dish and media company Sinclair have temporarily extended their contract, which expires Monday. Without a new deal, more than 100 of Sinclair’s local TV stations could be removed from the pay-TV service.

The stations include 97 ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates and their removal would impact 3.5 million Dish subscribers across 38% of the country, Sinclair said.

“We have agreed to a short-term extension with DISH to continue conversations,” said David Gibber, senior vice president and general counsel for Sinclair Broadcast Group, in a statement sent to USA TODAY. “We will continue to update our viewers as this develops. Sinclair stands willing to continue to negotiate in good faith and to enter into a longer extension to allow for the continued carriage of our channels to DISH’s subscribers.”

Dish did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

Englewood, Colorado-based Dish has 8.55 million satellite TV subscribers and 2.44 million Sling TV subscribers. These negotiations with Sinclair do not involve Sling, Dish said.

As the date of the contract’s end neared, both companies laid blame on the other.

Dish accused the Baltimore, Maryland-based Sinclair of “trying to use its market power to demand an unreasonable fee increase, using millions of Americans as pawns in its negotiations,” in a news release last week.

Sinclair said in its release that Dish “has a demonstrated track record of dropping local and national programming that viewers value.” USA Today

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