Dish Network gets CBS back after brief service blackout

Trevor Jackson
November 25, 2017

The deal, which includes all CBS-owned stations, as well as CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel, comes after almost three days of no CBS programming from the cable provider. Dish believes CBS is trying to get its customers to pay a "CBS tax".

The settlement comes after three days of black screens resulting from a row beginning when DISH refused the initial terms offered by CBS in contract negotiations. During the standoff, CBS had maintained that while Dish has complained about the fees being asked for the cable networks, it has paid "at least one cable network more than double our asking price, for far less than half the ratings".

CBS Corp. and Dish Network resolved their contentious carriage fee dispute by agreeing to a new distribution deal, restoring CBS station signals to millions of Dish customers across the country who went without CBS football on Thanksgiving. The networks were being restored to Dish customers Thursday night, according to Warren Schlichting, Dish's executive vice president of marketing, programming and media sales.

The blackout affected almost 4 million Dish Network subscriber homes - including 400,000 in the Los Angeles region.

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The deal comes after nearly three days of no CBS programming on Dish, including the NFL game on Thanksgiving Day, though it will allow football fans to watch SEC college games Friday and Saturday and an NFL doubleheader on Sunday.

CBS fired back in its statement Wednesday, claiming that Dish Network is "desperate to retain subscribers" and "clearly, pulling content providers off the air is Dish's way of doing things". Luckily, Dish and CBS reached a multi-year agreement 12 hours after the blackout.

CBS, the most-watched broadcast network, ran into contractual issues with Dish Network when it insisted that its smaller channels like Smithsonian, Pop and CBS Sports Network be bundled with the Big 4 net.

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