CBS Corp and Dish Network reach agreement on carriage fee dispute
25 November 2017
CBS Corp and Dish Network reached an agreement on the vexed carriage fee dispute by agreeing to a new distribution deal. The move restored CBS station signals to millions of Dish customers across the US who had to forgo CBS football on Thanksgiving.
The new agreement reached on Thursday night following protracted negotiations, ended the three-day blackout that started late Monday when CBS walked away from the bargaining table feeling the two sides were not making sufficient progress in the talks.
The blackout hit nearly 4 million Dish Network subscriber homes, including 400,000 in the Los Angeles region.
''Thank you for ruining our Thanksgiving traditions,'' Jesus J Gonzalez posted on Dish's Facebook page. ''No Cowboys game.''
The companies did not disclose the deal terms.
''We are grateful to our customers for their patience this holiday week as months of work has resulted in a deal that delivers CBS for years to come,'' Warren Schlichting, Dish's executive vice president of marketing, programming and media sales, said in a statement.
''I'd say we are frustrated. We never wanted to go dark in the first place,'' said Schlichting, in an interview,variety.com reported.
CBS had demanded a sizable increase in the fees it charges Dish for the rights to retransmit its TV station signals. The Englewood, Colorado, satellite television provider, which is facing customer attrition, was reluctant to pay a huge premium for a broadcast network that also has faced viewership declines.
Under the new deal retransmission consent has been granted for CBS-owned TV stations, including KCBS (Channel 2) and KCAL (Channel 9) in Los Angeles.
The deal included carriage of three cable channels, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Channel and Pop.
''We are pleased that we have reached a deal with Dish, [which] recognizes the value that the No. 1 network brings to viewers in these markets,'' said Ray Hopkins, president of TV networks distribution for CBS, Los Angeles Times reported.