CBS Threatens to Go Dark for Dish Subscribers on Thursday

CBS Threatens Go Dark Dish Subscribers

CBS has warned Dish Network that it will go dark on Thursday if a new carriage deal is not reached by then.

“For six months, CBS has been vigorously attempting to secure fair carriage deals with Dish,” CBS said in a statement. “During that time, Dish has clearly not been operating with the same sense of urgency. In the last few weeks, we have granted two extensions, in the hopes that this would give both parties sufficient time to come to a resolution. The second extension, which protected Dish subscribers’ programming over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was the final one. We would very much like to avoid going dark, thereby joining the more than 120 stations Dish has dropped since 2013 alone. Unless agreements are reached, however, our viewers should be prepared to lose CBS from their Dish systems on Thursday evening at 7:00 PM/ET.”

CBS issued the statement to make it clear to Dish execs that there would be no more extensions. In response to CBS, Dish reiterated its past statement on the negotiations:

“Only CBS can force a blackout of its channels. Dish is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires and has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. There is time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”

CBS and Dish execs have been in contact during the past few days and discussions continue. CBS execs are known to be frustrated with what has been described as “foot-dragging” on the part of Dish execs on closing the agreements.

The negotiations for a new carriage agreement have encompassed CBS’ 29 O&O stations as well as Showtime and CBS Sports Network. It’s unlikely that Showtime and CBSN would also go dark on Thursday, but it is a possibility.

The last short-term extension came late last month as negotiations talk progressed, stretching into Thanksgiving weekend. CBS and Dish’s previous deal had expired Nov. 20, covering retransmission consent rights for CBS’ TV stations. When that deal expired, both sides agreed to a five-day extension.

At the center of talks have been Dish’s rights to use CBS’ content, including Dish’s ability to include CBS content in the over-the-top service that it aims to launch, as well as offering out-of-home viewing rights. There’s also likely to be disagreements over Dish’s Hopper DVR service that allows users to record large swaths of primetime with one button.

This isn’t the first time that CBS has complained about Dish moving too slowly. In November, the Eye said Dish “appears willing to drop the most popular programming in its entire channel lineup because it won’t negotiate the same sort of deal that other cable, satellite and telco companies have struck with CBS,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

CBS has aired promos on its stations, rallying viewers to get behind its cause.

Dish is also in the midst of an impasse with with Time Warner’s Turner unit, which eased up last month. Dish and Turner set a short term deal in November restoring CNN, Cartoon Network and other channels to the satcaster’s lineup and extend the carriage agreement for TNT and TBS after Dish dropped CNN and seven other Turner outlets on Oct. 21.

Dish has about 14 million subscribers. It’s not clear how many Dish subscribers in CBS O&O markets would be affected if the stations go dark.

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  1. Keith says:

    I salute Dish Network for attempting to curb the greed by CBS and other stations. It’s ludicrous to me that the satellite and cable companies should have to pay the networks for stations that are broadcast over the air for free. The value of the ad-space on the network increases with a greater number of viewers. The satellite and cable companies are doing a favor to the networks for re-broadcasting their programming, and their many, many ads.

    TV stations spend millions to build tall antenna towers so that people can receive their programming. The cable and satellite companies are essentially offering a giant antenna for it’s viewers, making it possible to receive these otherwise free channels without putting up an antenna on the roof, or having to fuss with indoor rabbit ears. The greater number of viewers, the more money CBS, and the local affiliate make. If anything, the stations should pay the cable and satellite companies for making their programming more accessible.

    What’s even worse, the local cable companies are forced to carry local network affiliate programming. If they’re forced to carry it, why should they be forced to pay extra for it?

    I’ve never considered subscribing to Dish Network prior to this, but with this effort to keep the cost of service from spiraling even more out of control than it already has, I may switch to Dish Network as a token of my support for their efforts. After all, every time one of the networks wants more, we as viewers have to pay more for satellite or cable. We’re already paying way too much, especially when you consider how many adds you have to sit through to watch a show. No wonder so many people are “unplugging” and just watching Netflicks or other on-line programming services in lieu of network programming.

    The greed of the networks is disgusting! Shame on you CBS!

  2. Bruce says:

    It was bad enough when Dish wouldn’t negotiated fairly with Turner and Turner was forced to go dark. I mean, if I didn’t pay for dish, they would cancel my service, wouldn’t they? Of course they would! Now it’s the same story with CSN, CBS, Showtime, etc… It sounds like Dish are a bunch of moochers while they charge their subscribers Top Dollar.

  3. Karen Tada-Jones says:

    Need CBS as football games and many favorite shows. If Dish fails to renew agreement then I will become an ex. Customer.

  4. Personally, I think Dish, Direct TV, Cable Companies etc should just build there DVR records to allow local antennae to be connected to the DVR. Direct TV used to work that way. Then the local HD channels could come in on the ATSC tuner and they did not have to be held for ransom constantly. These are LOCAL broadcast free to anyone via the airways. Legislation should be passed to stop this extortion.
    They are making their money off of the commercials the same way they always have. This is just pure greed and extortion with viewers in the middle of the fight.

  5. Aaron Kelley says:

    As more and more content goes online, cable and satellite providers will become less and less relevant. Because of the internet, we’re going back to the days before cable when networks made money from advertisers rather than subscribers.

  6. jamesjimcie says:

    This is an example of why Leslie Moonves and CBS is now attempting to be too big on being the 1970’s Disco era Neil Bogart Casablanca Records on being way too big on excess paving the way to act like the Southern Methodist University football program of the 1980’s, the Pete Rose’s, the Alex Rodriguez’s, the Mike Tyson’s, and Tonya Harding like assaulted attacks by becoming very greedy, piggish, selfish to force and extort Dish into a take it or leave it deal for payments up to $2.00-$3.00 per month for retransmission consent carriage fees from each Dish subscriber wanting to carry and view the CBS owned and operated TV stations programming and cable networks as a way to further engage in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding as tying and old rigid RKO General bribery and dishonest behavior practices in negotiating on retransmission consent deals with Dish in the telecommunications industry with Dish carrying the CBS owned and operated TV stations and cable networks when it couldn’t agree to strict rigorous contracts by CBS just to get what it want in negotiation payments for carriage fees from the CBS owned and operated TV stations and cable networks very badly by wanting to try to be way too big on being the Wal-Mart’s, the AOL-Time Warner’s(2000-2003), the Bernard Madoff’s, the Lehman Brothers, the Enron’s, the Worldcom’s, the Adelphia’s, the Tyco’s, the old incarnation of Hostess Brands, the Toyota’s and the General Motor’s with their problematic automobile recalls, the Martha Stewart’s, the Teresa and Joe Giudice’s, the Robert Bobby and Maureen McDonnell’s, the Chris Christie’s, the Ray Nagin’s, the Jesse Jackson Jr’s, and the Justin Bieber’s of the 2000′s by letting greed get out of control so all of the bean counting and bloated head employees and bosses at CBS can be able to abuse and misuse the retransmission consent carriage fees they earned from the cable and satellite operators to spend it to enjoy carefree lavishly spending to support carefree lavishly salaries with carefree lavish and luxurious bonuses to the head executives, carefree lavish lifestyles with embezzlement using slush funds, scams, ponzi schemes, insider trading, creative accounting practices, and other white collar crimes, luxurious homes, luxurious jets, luxurious cars, luxurious furs, luxurious jewelry, join luxurious clubs, go on to luxurious shopping sprees, go on to luxurious vacations, luxurious resorts and beaches, go to luxurious bars, go to luxurious hotels, go to luxurious casinos to do gambling, go to luxurious golf courses, go to luxurious ski resorts, go to luxurious volleyball courses, go to horse races, throw luxurious parties, go to luxurious dinners, go to luxurious fundraisers, go to luxurious conventions, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam at the FCC, House, Senate, and other government entries in Washington, DC to claim that the retransmission consent payment still working fine and don’t need to be change at all and make dealing with cable and satellite too difficult for them to carry the local stations, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam at the FCC, House, Senate, and other government entries in Washington, DC to help allow the broadcasters to buy up more TV stations, using slush funds to bribe, lobby, and scam to the political candidates to help win their election and reelection campaigns, using slush funds to do gambling to place and wager on bets, go to luxurious amusements parks including Disneyland and Walt Disney World, involved with drugs with other people, involved with money laundering with other people, involved with panhandling from other people, involved with racketeering with other people, spend it on various luxurious gifts, plus to have luxurious items for both Leslie Moonves and his wife Julie Chen including luxurious cars for both him and his wife and luxurious clothing including outerwear, furs, and coats for himself and his wife to make both Leslie Moonves and his wife Julie Chen very happy and answer to their investors then trying and willingness to improve the quality of all the CBS owned and operated TV stations and cable networks they owned and control and making the viewers happy in the future by acting like the Ferris Bueller’s, the Gordon Gekko’s, the Victoria Grayson’s, the Liesl Obrecht’s, the Victor Newman’s/the Jack Abbott’s, the J. R. Ewing’s/the Cliff Barnes’s, the Alexis Colby’s, the Charles Montgomery Burn’s/ the Mayor Quimby’s, the Cruella de Vil’s, the Elsa’s, the Garfield cat’s, the Cookie Monster’s, and the Miss Piggy’s of the broadcasting industry of not coming to reach a deal for retransmission consent carriage fees with Dish to carry the CBS owned and operated TV stations and cable networks to the viewers with Dish everyday.

    The dispute is mainly wanting Dish to pay the increase in retransmission consent fees and how much it wants to pay for CBS stations to help pay for the improvements over at their stations including pay for the rights for up to $2-3.00 per station or for two per month in each TV DMA market with $.90 per month to CBS for reverse compensation by Les Moonves, and $.25 to $.50 per month to CW for reverse compensation, up to $.50 to $1.00 per month for syndicated programming, fully upgrade to full HDTV facilities on their stations, pay health care costs to it’s employees through the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, and CBS is likely forcing Dish to pay up to $2-3.00 per month from each subscriber for the CBS TV stations by engaging in old rigid Paramount Pictures block booking & blind bidding by tying and old RKO General bribery & dishonest behavioral practices and also wanting the money to help launch down payments to possibly pursue KFMB from Midwest Television.


    What is CBS? What is Dish? I only know youtube and Netflix.


  8. jhs39 says:

    To point out the obvious–CBS is always the broadcast network that has problems getting carriage deals with various cable and satellite providers. Considering the pattern it’s a pretty safe bet that the pay TV providers aren’t the ones at fault.

    • Dan says:

      Actually, ALL networks and cablers are the ones having problems. They ALL have contracts that expire eventually, and need to be reneged. As this article states DISH is also in the middle of a battle with Time Warner, and I remember recent Pay TV providers having contract disputes with Disney and Fox in recent years.

      There is no one culprit here – it’s an industry issue that needs more attention.

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