×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dish Eases Standoff with Turner, Restores CNN, Cartoon Network

Dish Network and Turner Broadcasting have set a short-term deal that will restore CNN, Cartoon Network and other channels to the satcaster’s lineup and extend the carriage agreement for TNT and TBS.

Dish dropped CNN and seven other Turner outlets on Oct. 21. TNT and TBS had been facing a potential blackout with a contract expiration looming on Dec. 5. The deal confirmed Friday morning will take all Turner networks through the end of March, giving the sides more time to sort out their differences.

The restoration of Turner channels comes a day after Dish set a five-day extension with CBS designed to prevent a blackout of the Eye’s O&O stations in 17 markets. The extension with Turner puts all of the channels on the same timetable. The late-March timing will also come just as the TNT, TBS and TruTV are serving up the last rounds of the NCAA’s March Madness men’s basketball championship, which means a disruption in service would be bad PR for Dish.

As is the case with CBS, the issue for Turner is not about the prices Dish will pay for Turner nets but the rights that the satcaster will have to use the programming beyond the core linear service. Dish is developing an over the top service that aims to be a lower-cost alternative to its full-freight sat-TV offering. Dish also wants to offer its traditional subscribers other cutting-edge services such as the ability to access programming when outside the home. Those are red flags for programmers who are looking to be paid on top of regular sub fees for those rights.

Dish and Turner had exchanged sharp words in the past few weeks after the channels went dark. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen had indicated he was prepared to drop CNN and the other channels for good, citing the need for distributors to hammer down on rising programming costs.

During an earnings conference call this month Ergen asserted that CNN was no-longer a “must-have” channel. Turner shot back and questioned “antagonistic and aggressive” remarks. Earlier this week it appeared that the sides were making no progress and that TNT and TBS would soon be dark on the nation’s third-largest MVPD platform, behind Comcast and DirecTV.

Dish has about 14 million subscribers. Carriage disputes with the satcaster are a bigger concern for programmers because Dish has a national footprint.

In addition to battles with CBS and Turner, Dish is scrapping with NBCUniversal over carriage of Comcast’s regional sports networks. Dish is not the only MVPD to take aim at RSNs, which are pegged as a big factor in driving up programming costs. Comcast has responded in its Dish fracas with facts and figures about the popularity of live sports to combat the assertion that the channels are little-watched overall in the markets they serve.

Dish dropped Comcast SportsNet New England in August. CSN Chicago, Bay Area, California and Mid-Atlantic are facing a Dec. 1 contract expiration.

More TV

  • Name Of The Rose

    Germany's Tele München Group Sold to Investment Firm KKR

    Global investment firm KKR has acquired Tele München Group, one of Germany’s largest television businesses. The surprise deal was announced Thursday. New York-based global investor KKR has holdings in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, energy and real estate. Tele München Group, or TMG, is active in both production and distribution; its projects include the highly anticipated [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    'Empire' Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    Ryan Kadro Will Join Quibi to Oversee News Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Kadro left CBS News several weeks ago, but he isn’t leaving the news business. Kadro, the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning” is set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form  content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content