BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Dish Network customers may temporarily resume watching Birmingham station NBC 13 after the satellite network and the station’s owner, Media General, reached an agreement today that will allow viewers to stay abreast of tropical storm Karen.
WVTM/NBC 13, which brands itself Alabama’s 13, will return to the Dish Network beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday and continuing until 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dish and NBC 13 announced in separate press releases this afternoon.
In addition to NBC 13, Media General stations WKRG/CBS 5 in Mobile/Pensacola, WHLT/CBS 22 in Hattiesburg, Miss., and WJTV/CBS 12 in Jackson, Miss., also will be temporarily available to Dish customers in those markets.
Dish customers in the Birmingham market have been unable to watch NBC 13 since the retransmission consent agreement between Dish and Media General expired at midnight Monday.
Jerry Tracey and the
entire Interceptor Weather Forecast Team are monitoring tropical storm Karen,” Gene
Kirkconnell, general manager at NBC 13, said in his station’s release. “Getting
ahead of threatening weather and providing the important information viewers
need to stay safe is an integral part of our responsibility to our local
“We are pleased Media
General broke its silence and agreed with our request to serve viewers,” Dish executive
vice president Dave Shull said in his company’s release. “While this permission
is limited to four markets for two days, this is a productive outcome for
viewers who rely on their local news the most.”
In all, Dish customers in 17 Media General markets have been affected by
the stalemate that began when the retransmission consent agreement expired.
The two sides are continuing to negotiate a new, long-term agreement.
“Our No. 1 priority is to serve our viewers,” NBC 13′s
Kirkconnell told AL.com today. “We are still trying to work it out and are working
hard to do it.”
Updated at 4:35 p.m. CST Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, to add statements from NBC 13 and the Dish Network.