READ MORE | How to watch WJAX-TV/CBS47
As of July 16, 2019, at 7 p.m., DISH Network dropped WJAX-TV/CBS 47 from its channel lineup, meaning WJAX-TV/CBS 47 is currently not available to DISH Network subscribers in the Jacksonville area.
That is because DISH Network and WJAX-TV/CBS 47 reached an impasse in negotiating a renewal of the agreement that provides for carriage of the station on DISH Network’s satellite system. We had hoped to avoid this situation; however, DISH made unreasonable demands, and our negotiations with DISH were unsuccessful.
WJAX-TV/CBS 47 made the last offer for a new agreement to DISH weeks ago. DISH has refused to provide a new counteroffer.
DISH subscribers wishing to see WJAX-TV/CBS 47 have several options. WJAX-TV/CBS 47 and its award-winning local news and weather, CBS shows (like NCIS and Blue Bloods), and sports programming – including, with football season right around the corner, Jacksonville Jaguars games on the NFL on CBS, as well as SEC College Football – remain available for free over-the-air with an antenna. WJAX-TV/CBS 47 also remains available on the lineups of all of DISH’s competitors in the Jacksonville area, including DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse, and Comcast. Roughly every three years, we negotiate with cable and satellite companies to carry our broadcast signal. We have carriage agreements with all of those companies – and with every other cable provider in the area.
DISH is the outlier for us. But DISH’s behavior with respect to WJAX-TV/CBS 47, unfortunately, is not unusual.
In fact, the same day that DISH dropped WJAX-TV/CBS 47, DISH also dropped the local TV stations owned by a different broadcaster in 12 other media markets across the country.
We tried to get a fair deal done with DISH without disruption to our viewers. We granted DISH multiple extensions of our prior carriage agreement in the hopes of concluding a new deal with DISH, but little progress was made. DISH has continued to undervalue our station, including the important role we perform during major news and weather events (particularly during Hurricane Season, which began June 1st). WJAX-TV/CBS 47 is merely asking for the same kinds of terms and conditions, including compensation, which we have in agreements with other cable and satellite providers.
As a DISH customer, we know you are frustrated with this situation. We are, too. Unfortunately, when we are involved in a business dispute like this, it impacts you. That part is very difficult for us because that is the last thing we want to happen. We want our programming to be there for you; and, right now, our programming is not available on DISH Network. For that, we apologize.
WJAX-TV/CBS 47 is owned by a small company. Our station cannot and will not be pressured into making bad business decisions by DISH, a multi-billion-dollar company. Making such bad business decisions would be wrong for our station—and our viewers—as it would negatively impact our ability to produce the local news, sports, and severe weather coverage, as well as provide CBS network shows, that you have come to expect and depend upon from our station. The fees we receive from cable and satellite companies, such as DISH, are used to help us pay the salaries of our employees who live right here in our community and to pay for the CBS Network and other programming costs.
Please know that we would end this impasse today if DISH would get reasonable with its demands, but so far, they have failed to do so. Given DISH’s unreasonable positions, we are not hopeful this impasse will be resolved quickly. Thank you for your support.
What is this all about?
A federal law first enacted in 1992 allows television stations to negotiate the terms of carriage, including compensation, from multichannel video programming distributors such as DISH Network. WJAX-TV/CBS 47 and DISH were in the process of negotiating a renewal of their previous agreement that granted DISH the right to carry the station as part of its programming packages. That agreement expired months ago. WJAX-TV/CBS 47 provided DISH multiple extensions to attempt to complete a new deal. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move forward with DISH, little progress was made.
Why can't you reach an agreement?
DISH has refused to negotiate appropriate market value retransmission compensation for WJAX-TV/CBS 47. DISH believes that it should pay far less than every other video provider for our highly rated and award-winning news, weather coverage, and CBS network programming such as NCIS, Blue Bloods and more.
Why should DISH have to pay to carry television stations that are available for free over the air?
WJAX-TV/CBS 47 is available over-the-air for free to our viewers, but our signal is not free to subscriber-based services such as DISH Network that repackage our signals and sell them to their subscribers at a profit. In fact, the law requires DISH Network to obtain a retransmission consent agreement to carry our station and to negotiate in good faith with us in exchange for granting our consent.
Are these disputes common with DISH?
Unfortunately, yes. Over the past several years, DISH has had disputes with hundreds of local television stations. While the length of these disputes has varied, DISH has had some disputes that have lasted for months.
How can I find your station?
WJAX-TV/CBS 47 continues to be available over-the-air with an antenna and is also available on all other multichannel video programming distributors in the area, including DIRECTV, Comcast, and AT&T U-verse.
What can I do to help get WJAX-TV/CBS 47 back on DISH?
The best thing you can do is to let DISH Network know how much you value WJAX-TV/CBS 47 and that they need to keep local channels like WJAX-TV/CBS 47 on their system to retain you as a customer. DISH Network can be reached at (800) 333-3474.
Can I contact WJAX-TV/CBS 47?
Yes, of course. We encourage our viewers to give us input, and we want to answer your questions. You can call (904) 996-0520 during the hours Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We look forward to answering your questions and sharing WJAX-TV/CBS 47’s side of the story.
- FCC Guide on Antennas and Digital Television
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