Dish Network Is About To Drop My NBC Affiliate That Isn’t Even Local

Dale only has one complaint about Dish Network, but it’s sort of a strange one. Yes, he can tune local broadcast channels from Minneapolis through his Dish tuner, but they’re not local enough. He lives in more than 200 miles away in Bemidji, MN.

His closest broadcast market is Grand Forks, N.D., but Dish Network doesn’t believe him. Local channels are determined by a customer’s address, they insist. Yes, a customer’s address, and a strange time-space vortex where 225 miles is a shorter distance than 100 miles.

Here is a battle I have been fighting and have pretty much given up on. About 6 months ago my wife and I subscribed to Dish Network. We liked the price and the features we were offered. When subscribing we asked if we would be provided local channels and they told us we would receive all the network stations out of Minneapolis, MN (226 miles from us by they way).

After it was installed and the service was activated I noticed that the “local channels” did not really even discuss our area, (like I said its 226 MILES AWAY) so I went on the Dish website and found that I could enter in a major city near us, Grand Forks ND, which is only 100 miles away and see that they offer the local channels for that area. Our local cable company gets those stations and they mention our city, Bemidji, in much more detail. So I called up Dish and asked could I just have those local channels instead. I explained that I was much closer to another market than the channels I was receiving now and they told me “we assign local channels based on physical address”. I let them know the channels I was receiving were from a location that was over 200 miles away and they let me know that it was simply my address that determined what local stations i received.

I went so far as to bring this up on the Dish facebook page. I was told it had to do with FCC regulations(this was from someone not affiliated with Dish commenting on the post). I did a bit of research and found the FCC doesn’t tell satellite companies which network affiliates they can show (otherwise Dish would not be able to broadcast “Super Stations” everywhere)

I was defeated and locked into a 2 year contract with “local news” that was anything but local. That was until today when I turned on the NBC affiliate and saw a message scroll at the bottom that said I might lose this channel if they could not reach a contract with Dish by SUNDAY! I called up Dish and they gave me a story about the fight they were having with Gannett the stations owner. I told them I understand they want to keep costs low but I like NBC and did not care where it was coming from so if they couldnt reach a contract would they give me another NBC affiliate to watch? They replied, “the local channels you receive are based on your address.”

Needless to say I have about had it with Dish and their “local channels.”

Perhaps Dish only has access to local channels in relatively larger markets. That seems unfair, though, especially considering how satellite TV is sometimes the only option for people living in rural areas. They could end up, like Dale, stuck with “local” news that isn’t local at all.