We wondered how many subcribers might have been affected by the blackout created by the KAYU, DISH Network snafu that was settled over the weekend.
Roughly 103,000 is the number we came up with, thanks to the folks at SNL Kagan, a communications and broadcast media information aggregator. The number is certainly a bit lower than that, as some DISH subscribers likely had other options (such as a cable connection or a digital antenna to get signals).
Based on third quarter 2012 numbers, DISH had 103,429 subscribers in the Spokane TV market.
That's up from 3Q 2010, again using numbers provided by SNL Kagan. Here's the three-way subscriber numbers:
2010 2012 (both measured in 3Q)
Comcast 100,000 106,311
DirecTV 69,000 76,478
DISH 102,000 103,429
Comcast's numbers are entirely in the Spokane metro area. DirecTV and DISH subscribers extend from North Idaho all the way over to central Washington.
Also worth noting is that both DirecTV and DISH ran into problems over retrans fees with Northwest Broadcasting, which runs KAYU. The important thing is that there are no retrans fees paid by cable for its ability to carry local station signals.
The reason is that the cable giants, like Comcast, give local stations access to some channels at little or no coast, in lieu of retrans fees. Hence, you never see the locals like NW Broadcasting locked in battles over money with Comcast.