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Exposed: 17 words Dish Network doesn’t want you to read

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Dish Network wants a federal judge in Indianapolis to hide from the public details of what the owner of WISH-TV and WNDY considers a blatantly discriminatory offer to carry the stations’ programming.

The summary judgment, issued March 31 by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, confirmed Circle City’s claim that “DISH refused to contract with it for the payment of fees for that right, for the longest time offering zero dollars, and at the eleventh hour offering only pennies per subscriber.

Lawyers for Dish Network have notified the court and Circle City they want the 17 words bolded above removed from the public record in a effort to conceal that information.

Lawyers for Circle City Broadcasting, which owns WISH-TV and WNDY in Indianapolis, are vehemently opposed to removing those words from the judge’s published opinion. 

Nexttv’s online journal, Broadcasting+Cable, has already reported the Dish Network offer for zero compensation to Circle City Broadcasting.

DuJuan McCoy, Owner, President, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting, sued AT&T and Dish Network in 2020, accusing the companies of racial discrimination for refusing to negotiate retransmission contracts for WISH-TV and WNDY. 

DuJuan McCoy, Owner, President and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting

McCoy’s suit alleges AT&T and Dish Network, both multi-billion dollar businesses, offered zero compensation to CCB in the form of retransmission fees.  Cable operators traditionally pay retransmission fees to local broadcasters to carry their copyrighted content, especially local news.   

In the case of WISH-TV, AT&T and Dish Network had paid millions of dollars in retransmission fees to the previous non-black ownership groups.  It was only when McCoy, one of the few black television station owners in the nation, purchased WISH and WNDY in 2019 that AT&T and Dish Networks refused any payment.

McCoy’s lawsuit also accused AT&T of offering zero compensation to retransmit WISH-TV and WNDY on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse.

The value of WISH-TV and WNDY has increased under McCoy’s ownership, with more local news, more local programming and more local sports.  WISH-TV is a legacy broadcaster in the state, having signed on in 1954, and may be the only legacy news station in the country that AT&T and Dish Network do not retransmit on their systems. 

By blacking out WISH-TV for the past three years, AT&T and Dish Network have effectively quelled news and information to a vast multicultural audience on such things as COVID safety, crime town hall meetings, Democrat and Republican state conventions broadcast exclusively on WISH-TV and three NFL Monday Night Football games.

McCoy also vowed to ask a federal appeals court to reinstate the lawsuits.

“Although we are disappointed in the court’s ruling, I have always known as one of the few black media executives in America that the fight for equality in media is always going to be difficult,” McCoy said. “We firmly believe that Dish and AT&T are both discriminatory companies in contracting. Separately and individually, they discriminate!”