Spokane’s KAYU-TV FOX 28 stopped being aired on DISH satellite television over the weekend because of a dispute.

The owner of FOX 28, Apollo Global Management, a New York City-based equity firm, “is demanding nearly double the fees DISH pays to provide access to (FOX 28 and 17 other stations) Apollo acquired last year,” according to a DISH news release issued Saturday.

A spokesman for Apollo didn’t respond to Tribune questions Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday and said he would be available today in an email.

Attempts to get comment from FOX 28 in Spokane on Monday were not successful.

At issue are the fees DISH, based in Englewood, Colo., pays Apollo, which, according to DISH, manages more than $300 billion in assets.

In exchange for using the public airwaves, broadcasters provide their channels for free, through digital antennas, but television companies, like DISH, that charge for their services are required to pay broadcasters to provide those same channels to their customers, according to the DISH news release.

“Apollo doesn’t care how high a customer’s bill gets,” according to a statement from Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of programming, in the news release. “It’s trying to squeeze every last penny out of consumers to recoup the (money) it spent buying these stations. They are fund managers built to serve wealthy private investors, not local viewers.”

The disagreement between DISH and FOX 28 follows one that happened with FOX 28 and AT&T’s DirecTV last year.

FOX 28 was one of the stations not available on DirecTV between late February and mid-October because of a conflict involving the terms under which FOX 28’s previous owner could add new stations to DirecTV.

The Spokane station is known for airing Seattle Seahawks and other National Football League games in eastern Washington, north central Idaho and northern Idaho. This year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 2 will be shown on FOX.

Elaine Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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