May 27, 2018
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Red Sox games will air after Dish Network, Bangor TV stations agree to temporary contract extension

Andrew Weber | USA Today Sports
Andrew Weber | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (41) throws against the Detroit Tigers during game three of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Comerica Park.
By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Boston Red Sox fans in eastern Maine who are Dish Network subscribers won’t be shut out of major league playoff games, after all.

Mike Palmer, the station manager and vice president of Bangor television stations WVII (ABC 7) and WFVX (Fox 22), reported Tuesday afternoon that a recent contract dispute between the satellite television provider and those stations has been eased.

“We don’t have an agreement now, but the things move very quickly and in the spirit of good faith and goodwill, we’ve agreed to a temporary extension. We’ll get a deal done very shortly,” Palmer said.

That means Wednesday night’s American League Championship Series game between Boston and Detroit and all subsequent major league playoff and World Series coverage will be aired on Dish Network.

“The Red Sox game will absolutely be on Dish Network [Wednesday],” said Palmer, who expects lawyers for the Bangor stations and Dish Network will be able to reach an agreement.

Boston and Detroit are scheduled to play Game 4 of their best-of-seven American league Championship Series starting 8:07 p.m. Wednesday.

WVII and WFVX have been engaged in what Palmer recently described as prolonged negotiations with Dish Network, which had indicated it would be unwilling to carry the stations beyond the end of their present contract, which expires Tuesday.

The dispute centered around the amount of money paid for retransmission consent, which allows Dish Network to carry programming from those stations as part of its satellite programming packages.

Last week, Palmer said that WFVX and WVII had not previously encountered any such difficulties with satellite providers. However, he said Dish Network had exhibited a propensity for eliminating programming from local stations from their network.

Palmer said 20 percent of the households in a six-county area that watch WVII and WFVX do so via Dish Network.

He believes the contract dispute will be solved sooner rather than later.

“It’ll be settled imminently,” Palmer said. “It’s in good hands.

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