×

Dish Sues NBCUniversal as Carriage Dispute Escalates

Update 4:38 p.m.: NBCUniversal issued the following statement in response to the suit: “Should Dish proceed with arbitration we will of course participate in the process, and look forward to receiving the fair market value for our portfolio of networks.”

12:08 p.m.: Dish Network has filed suit against NBCUniversal, the latest step in a rapidly escalating dispute over a new carriage agreement between the two companies.

In a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Illinois, Dish accused NBCUniversal of breach of contract after the latter launched a public campaign against the former Monday urging Dish customers to put pressure the satellite-television provider. Dish and NBCUniversal are locked in tense negotiations over a renewal of their carriage agreement. If a deal is not reached, Dish customers could lose access to NBCUniversal-owned cable networks such as USA, Bravo, Syfy, CNBC and MSNBC as soon as Sunday. Customers would also lose NBCUniversal-owned NBC and Telemundo stations in local markets including Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago and Miami.

“NBC’s public statements against DISH over the past 24 hours are in violation of the contract between the two companies,” Dish said in a statement. “Today, DISH filed a breach of contract lawsuit against NBC to address those violations.”

Dish is expected to file for binding arbitration in a move to block NBCUniversal from pulling its feeds.

On Monday, NBC launched a public campaign as it sought to push Dish to give in on multiple issues, among them retransmission fees for the broadcast stations. An NBCUniversal-run website urged Dish customers to contact the carrier and demand that it do whatever would be necessary to keep NBCUniversal’s channels on the service.

Dish has engaged in multiple retransmission fights in recent years. A deadline looms for the company to renew its deal with Viacom to carry that company’s cable networks. Viacom chairman and CEO Philippe Dauman said this month that he expects a deal to be finalized by the next financial quarter.

AT&T and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision have been involved this year in a similar standoff over retransmission fees.

Read the statement from Dish below:

“NBC’s public statements against DISH over the past 24 hours are in violation of the contract between the two companies. Today, DISH filed a breach of contract lawsuit against NBC to address those violations.

“DISH has successfully negotiated agreements representing numerous networks in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. DISH’s goal is to reach a mutually beneficial deal with NBC.

“However, based on NBCU’s actions to date, DISH currently expects to file for arbitration, which would prevent NBC from blacking out DISH customers.

“Under the conditions imposed by the FCC and Department of Justice in approving the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, NBC is forbidden from blacking out its networks if a pay-TV provider chooses, in its sole discretion, to exercise its right for binding arbitration. Regulators implemented these conditions to prevent Comcast and NBC from harming consumers and competition.

“In the event of arbitration, affected programming would remain available during that process, and for the foreseeable future.”

More TV

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

  • Teyonah Parris

    Teyonah Parris Cast in 'WandaVision' at Disney Plus

    “Mad Men” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” actress Teyonah Parris has been cast in Disney Plus’ “Wanda Vision” series. She will play an adult version of Monica Rambeau, a child character introduced in the film “Captain Marvel.” The announcement was made at Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation. The forthcoming Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth [...]

  • Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx - NOS4A2

    'NOS4A2' Renewed for Season 2 at AMC

    AMC has renewed “NOS4A2” for a second season. The news was announced during the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con and ahead of the Season 1 finale. Season 2 will consist of 10 episodes and is slated to air in 2020. The series, which is based on the 2013 Joe Hill novel of the same [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Signs Netflix Deal With Expanded Coverage

    SAG-AFTRA and streaming giant Netflix have agreed to a new three-year contract with expanded coverage for union performers. Netflix has previously employed SAG-AFTRA members under the union’s standard master contracts for television and film and had been signing on a production by production basis. The union announced Saturday that the new deal recognizes performance capture as covered work [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content