KCRG-TV9 says they'll be dropped by Dish Network at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 17, due to the two not being able to come to an agreement on a new retransmission agreement.

In a press release from TV9, KCRG Vice-President and General Manager, Thom Pritz, says,

"We are shocked and disappointed to learn that Dish Network has decided to impose yet another blackout on its customers by taking away our station, which broadcast some of the most highly rated programming on any broadcast or cable channel in their market.

Recently, Gray offered Dish an extension that would have continued beyond tomorrow’s deadline, but Dish refused to accept it. Unfortunately, neither our stations nor the government nor Dish’s millions of fee-paying customers can force Dish to continue carrying our stations when, as here, it chooses to take leading stations off of its system for perceived leverage in private carriage negotiations.

Dish’s actions will not affect customers of DIRECTV, Mediacom, IMON Communications and other local providers. Our company has reached long-term agreements with several hundred other major cable and satellite distributor, virtually all without any disruptions or even public statements about our negotiations. In contrast, in just the last two years alone, Dish has dropped more than 200 local television stations."

Dish Network sent me this statement Monday night:

“Contrary to Gray Television’s statement today, DISH has not ‘decided to stop carrying’ the broadcaster’s signals. Only Gray Television can force a blackout of its channels. With a deadline of January 17, ample time remains for parties to reach an agreement or extension, and DISH is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires.

DISH has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. Gray is simply trying to use consumers as pawns in an effort to gain leverage for their own economic benefit.”

If TV9 is indeed removed from the Dish Network channel lineup, how long they would be gone is anyone's guess. Gray Television stations in more than 50 markets are expected to be affected. If you're thinking the sheer number of stations will result in KCRG not being off for long, don't be so sure. WHO-TV in Des Moines, part of Tribune Media, was off Dish's lineup from June 12 to early September of last year. The Des Moines station was one of 33 different television markets that were affected by that dispute.

KCRG was removed from the Dish Network for a time, just over four years ago. The station was off Dish Network from mid-December of 2012 until late-January of 2013. TV9 encourages you to learn more here.

[via KCRG, Dish Network, Gazette, Des Moines Register, Deadline, KWWL, and Des Moines Register]