After failing to reach agreement with direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operator DISH Network on retransmission terms, LIN Media terminated the signal feeds of 27 television broadcast stations to DISH customers at midnight last Saturday. The standoff between LIN and DISH is the latest in a string of high-profile program carriage disputes that prompted the FCC last Thursday to launch proceedings on changes to the agency’s rules that might avert similar signal shutdowns in the future. Commenting on last week’s rulemaking notice, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski admitted that the FCC lacks authority under current law to order interim carriage of broadcast signals while parties work out new retransmission terms after contract expiration. Nevertheless, Genachowski maintained that the FCC needs to be more involved in the retransmission consent process in the interest of protecting multichannel video customers. He joined his fellow commissioners in advising broadcasters that they should not use the retransmission proceeding as an excuse not to continue negotiations in good faith. Many of the stations affected by the dispute are major network affiliates that are owned and operated by LIN in various “tier two” Midwestern markets as well as in Springfield, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut and Norfolk, Virginia. Although LIN CEO Vincent Sandusky told reporters that his company had proposed a renewed carriage rate that “is fair to our local stations,” DISH countered that LIN’s latest demand for a rate hike of more than 140% is “so immense that DISH Network and its customers couldn’t possibly absorb it.” DISH further characterized the proposed rate increase as “more money than what we pay most of our popular national networks.” As LIN confirmed that it continues to “[keep] the FCC informed,” DISH said it “remains open to further talks with LIN . . . in hopes of reaching a fair deal.”