Broadcaster has blacked out stations in several markets threatened by potential hurricane

Washington D.C. October 3, 2013 – As Tropical Storm Karen threatens states in the Gulf of Mexico region, American Television Alliance urges Media General to restore its signal to DISH subscribers in those cities that lie in its projected path. Earlier this week, Media General blacked out DISH subscribers from local stations in 17 markets. So far in 2013, there have been 101 blackouts – an all-time high.

Media General’s blackouts come despite broadcasters’ repeated claims that the retransmission consent system should not be changed because it helps them, in part, provide severe weather information to local communities. Yet, with a tropical storm looming over the region and a hurricane watch issued from Louisiana to Florida, Media General continues to black out DISH subscribers.

When broadcasters choose profits over providing viewers with critical information, it underscores how broken our retransmission consent system is and how hypocritical their claims of localism are.

Stations in markets that may be affected by the storm: WVTM-NBC in Birmingham, AL; WKRG-CBS in Mobile, AL-Pensacola, FL; WFLA-NBC in WJBF-ABC in Augusta, GA; WRBL-CBS in Columbus, GA; WSAV-NBC in Savannah, GA; WHLT-CBS in Hattiesburg, MS; WNCN-NBC in Raleigh-Durham, NC; WCBD-NBC and WCBDD-CW in Charleston, SC; WBTW-CBS in Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC; WSPA-CBS and WYCW-CW  in Greenville, SC; and WJHL-CBS in Tri-Cities, TN area.