Contract • Dispute between Sinclair, satellite TV provider threatened access to channels.
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Television broadcaster Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and Dish Network have reached an agreement in principle on retransmission fees, meaning the satellite television provider will continue to carry Sinclair's broadcast stations.
The companies agreed Thursday to extend their existing deal by two weeks to give time to iron out a final agreement. The original agreement was set to expire at midnight Wednesday.
Three days ago, Dish said that Sinclair had threatened to block Dish customers' access to its broadcast stations in 45 U.S. cities, unless Dish was willing to accept a price increase.
"I do think they're going to get this deal resolved," said Kent Crawford, general manager of Salt Lake City's KUTV Channel 2 , which has been owned by Sinclair since September 2011. "I think it's finally headed in the right direction. We do want to get this completed as quickly as possible in the best interest of our viewers."
The station has received only a handful of calls from local Dish subscribers about the dispute, Crawford said.
Dish Network Corp. has said that Sinclair was asking for more money than any other broadcast group in the country. Sinclair countered that its request was substantially lower than what Dish pays for less popular stations.
"We thank our viewers for their patience and support during these negotiations," Sinclair said in a statement.
A Dish representative was not available for comment.
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 14.1 million satellite television customers as of June 30.