CBS Sets Dish Blackout Deadline for Thursday If Deal Isn't Made
After agreeing to two extensions on negotiations for a new licensing agreement, CBS says the satellite service doesn't feel the same urgency to come to an agreement
CBS said Tuesday there will be no more extensions on its negotiations for a retransmission consent agreement with The Dish Network, and it's local and network channels could go dark on the satellite provider as soon as Thursday evening.
Showing its frustration, CBS opened its statement by accusing Dish of not negotiating in good faith: "For six months, CBS has been vigorously attempting to secure fair carriage deals with Dish. During that time, Dish has clearly not been operating with the same sense of urgency."
CBS notes it has granted two extensions during the negotiations, most recently to assure Dish subscribers would have its stations over the Thanksgiving holiday, which means access to the pro football games and other sports on the CBS networks.
"We would very much like to avoid going dark," added the CBS statement, "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."
If no CBS deal is reached it would impact CBS-owned TV stations, CBS Sports Network and Showtime pay TV programming.
Dish responded by pointing to an earlier company statement: "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."
Since last year CBS has been through a number of negotiations — including a blackout on Time Warner Cable last summer — where it has sought increases it says are necessary to get its content up to market rates.
Dish is involved in a number of similar negotiations. On Tuesday it worked out another short term extension with Comcast to keep four regional sports networks on the air. The networks are CSN Chicago, CSN Mid-Atlantic, CSN Bay Area and CSN California.
Dish reportedly has claimed that Comcast is seeking a 20 percent increase in the license fee it is paid.
December 2, 12:10 p.m. Updated to include a response from Dish Network.