CBS, Dish Network end blackout for customers after reaching fee deal

Jerome Frank
November 25, 2017

Dish customers are not able to view 28 local CBS channels in 18 markets across 26 states.

Hours after millions of viewers were unable to watch the Chargers-Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving Day afternoon, Dish Network and CBS reached a multi-year fee agreement, ending the blackout that kept the game off the airwaves.

As of the writing of this column, neither company has released final terms of the agreement. Dish believes CBS is trying to get its customers to pay a "CBS tax".

The agreement, reached late Thursday, means Dish subscribers in Boise and other cities once again have access to CBS content. The blackout severely impacted several major markets including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta and Boston.

Dish EVP of Marketing Warren Schichting released a statement saying, "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". "The fees CBS and other broadcasters charge pay-TV providers, like Dish, to carry local channels is up an incredible 1,700 percent".

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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.

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

Dish Network yanked CBS and affiliated content this past Tuesday. However, some customers have likely already switched to the digital over-the-air antenna which saves $10 per month off the DISH bill.

Media companies and pay-TV providers are tussling over how to split revenue from cable and satellite customers as subscriptions drop. That's a dramatic rise from 2010, when the industry experienced just eight blackouts.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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