Update: CBS Goes Dark on DISH Network

CBS’ broadcast net went dark on DISH Network in 14 of the country’s largest markets Tuesday morning, the result of a retransmission consent standoff between the broadcaster and satellite provider. Many DISH subscribers will be unable to watch the Thanksgiving NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers unless a pact is reached before Thursday.

CBS-owned cable nets The Smithsonian Channel, CBS Sports Network and Pop are also blacked out on DISH across the country. In addition, eight CW affiliates, three independent stations and two MyNetworkTV affiliates are off of DISH pending a deal.

CBS in a statement Tuesday morning claimed DISH “dropped” its channels, while DISH subsequently asserted that CBS “chose to black out DISH customers’ access.” DISH is giving its customers the option of dropping local channels altogether at a savings of $10 per month and offering to install digital antennas for over-the-air access to broadcast programming.

“Since 2013, DISH has dropped the signals of 29 different companies, representing nearly 400 television stations, clearly indicating that these tactics are commonplace for them,” CBS said in its statement. “This particular dispute is yet another example of the company punishing its subscribers instead of negotiating a fair carriage deal that reflects the current marketplace.”

DISH evp, marketing, programming and media sales Warren Schlichting said, “CBS is attempting to tax DISH customers on programming that’s losing viewers, tax DISH customers on programming available for free over the air, and tax DISH customers for content available directly from CBS. Our customers are clear: they don’t want to pay a CBS tax. It’s regrettable and unnecessary that CBS is bringing its greed into the homes of millions of families this Thanksgiving.”

CBS All-Access, the broadcaster’s standalone SVOD service, appears to have added a new wrinkle to this round of negotiations. Schlichting in his statement Tuesday morning said, “On top of free availability with an antenna, the fact that CBS makes its content available a la carte on a streaming app has further eroded the value of its content for DISH and our customers.”

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