DISH Drops WGN, Including Cubs, Sox Games and WGN News, After Contract Expires


On June 12th, 2016, at 7pm EDT, the contract with DISH to carry WGN expired. WGN is still in negotiations during the interruption with DISH to resume programming to the satellite TV service.

We invest significant money and resources to serve our community. We seek only a fair agreement, one that recognizes the value we deliver to you, the subscriber. Without such fair compensation, we cannot deliver to you the programming that you value.

WGN is asking viewers to take the following steps you to help resume WGN programming to DISH.

Call DISH at the number above and let them know how important this station is to you, and that you want WGN back on the programming lineup.

Tell DISH that viewers shouldn’t pay for programming that has been interrupted.

Post concerns on DISH’s Facebook page at

WGN reminds customers that there are still other option to received WGN programming:

Broadcasts are available over the air, via antenna.
An alternative pay-TV provider; many offer excellent incentives to switch.

WGN reported they are diligently working to restore programming on DISH, and thanked viewers for support.

WGN provided the following questions and answers …

Question: Why can you not reach an agreement with DISH?

Answer: In the past year, this station’s parent organization, Tribune Broadcasting, has successfully negotiated contract renewals with literally hundreds of pay-TV providers, reaching a mutually beneficial agreement and causing no interruption of our programming to subscribers. As you might expect, these negotiations require hard work and a willingness to strike a fair deal. We are true to that ideal; thus far, we have not found DISH to share that ideal. But our work continues.

Question: What do you mean by a fair deal?

Answer: We bring you outstanding entertainment, news, sports and weather, as well as our commitment to serve our community through events and good works. And we have earned our success. But these successes require significant investment; investment that goes into technology, high-definition clarity, top talent, as well as the cost to us of any network programming we carry.

To compete and to continue, we must gauge our fair value on the larger field of television content providers. This is how we have approached our discussions with DISH – seeking only fair value based on the market.

Question: Why can’t Tribune Media and DISH agree to an extension and keep negotiating?

Answer: We have offered DISH an extension far longer than anything offered by DISH, but they have rejected this opportunity to prevent interruption of our programming.

Question: Do all channels on DISH get paid the same rate?

Answer: No. And it’s important for you to know that other programmers, such as ESPN, TNT, and many other cable networks with far fewer viewers, charge DISH many times more per subscriber than this station. And those higher fees are part of your monthly bill from DISH.

Question: How will your new agreement affect my monthly bill?

Answer: Potentially not at all. But that will depend on DISH. As important to you: how many channels are you paying for that you never watch? As a viewer of our station, you value what we bring you. There are a great many channels DISH charges for as part of your monthly bill that have no value to you.

Question: I am not a Dish subscriber, but there is now a Dish logo and message on my screen, and I have lost service of one of my favorite channels … why?

Answer: Many video providers are unable to receive our signal directly, so they use Dish’s satellite service to help bring the service to our fans’ homes. When Dish decided to remove our channel, they not only removed it from their customers, but from many other video providers’ customers as well.

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