Dish, Turner Agree to Extension to Bring Back CNN After Latest Carriage Dispute

Charlie Ergen Headshot - P 2013
AP Images

Charlie Ergen Headshot - P 2013

The suite of cable nets returns to the carrier after a month of darkness

Dish Network and Turner have reached an extension that will bring back CNN and other channels to subscribers. The two companies announced they had resumed negotiations in the carriage dispute on Friday morning, issuing a joint statement and adding that neither would have any further comment on the matter.

Turner channels CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang have been dark for Dish subscribers for a full month.

Dish has been putting out carriage fires right and left at the end of the year. Throughout the Turner blackout, the satellite provider has also been engaged in thus-far fruitless negotiations to re-up with CBS. The broadcast net called out Dish earlier this week, saying it was "dragging its feet" and that Dish pays "considerably more money to much lesser-watched cable networks that what CBS is asking."

Turner parent company Time Warner had not been quite so aggressive in its dismissal of Dish, which publicly downplayed the importance of Turner nets. "To us, it is unclear exactly what the dispute with Dish is," said Turner CEO John Martin. “While there clearly were more deal points to get done, they were not of the type of nature that would result in networks going dark. … We were told by them that we were taken down because we wouldn’t move an expiration date later in the year.”

Though Dish boasts north of 14 million U.S. subscribers, the absence of its audience has not been hugely detrimental for the Turner networks — but it hasn't exactly been negligible either. During November coverage of the midterm election, CNN projected the national impact of adults 25-54 as down 13 percent because of the dispute.

The extension also applies to the deadline for TBS and TNT, which was coming up on Dec. 5.