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Posts tagged: blackout

How many folks were affected by the KAYU-DISH snafu? About 103,000

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.

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Viewers who endured KAYU-DISH blackout came away angry at both sides

You probably heard the disputing parties in the KAYU-DISH blackout finally reached an agreement over the weekend:  KAYU-28, Spokane’s Fox affiliate, was off the Dish network since late November over a dispute involving retransmission fees.

Terms of the deal to end the blackout were not disclosed.

But what is clear is both companies ended up with a black eye in the minds of many customers. We did a quick email blast to angry customers who were upset enough to contact KAYU GM Brian Brady last week. Here's a short sample of how those customers told us they feel about what happened to them.

Viewer Carol Nelson's take: “Once the snow's gone, we'll be looking into antenna options so we aren't caught in the middle again. We shouldn't have to leave home in order to watch network programs!”

And, Donald Rowland doesn't pull any punches: “Still, a very bad business practice, to torture the paying customers! SHAME on both companies for doing this! Now that the Seahawks are done, I have no further need of KAYU-28 along with many of the area advertisers. May they reap what they sowed!”

And here's a blast from Stephen Fisher, M.D.: “I believe that reasonable and responsible men and women are always able to reach a fair and equitable solution of any situation.  Our business behavior is mirroring our political behavior and our behavior in many of our other institutions. Those who suffer are those (the two businesses) serve.  Apparently, those in positions to make decisions have misplaced their moral compasses.”

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on spokesman.com and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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