Millions of Dish customers could lose access to NBC and its sister cable networks as a possible blackout looms.
Locked in a negotiations battle with Dish over a new carriage contract, NBCUniversal on Monday launched a public campaign urging Dish customers to contact the carrier and ask that it not to drop the company’s networks.
If the two sides fail to reach a new deal, Dish customers could lose access to cable networks USA, Bravo, Syfy, MSNBC and CNBC as early as Sunday. Dish would also lose retransmission rights for 10 network-owned NBC local stations and 16 Telemundo stations in markets including Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago and Miami.
“We are disappointed that Dish would deny its subscribers access to valuable programming on NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and more,” a NBCUniversal spokesperson said in a statement. “NBCUniversal has the most-watched portfolio in the U.S. and on Dish systems, including the #1 broadcast network, the #1 cable entertainment network, and NBCUniversal is #1 in news and late night television.”
A representative for Dish did not respond to a request for comment.
The clash between Dish and NBCUniversal comes on the heels of a similar standoff between AT&T and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision over retransmission fees.
NBCUniversal launched a website on Monday providing contact info for Dish in the hopes that customers will apply pressure to the carrier.