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CBS about to vanish from TVs in millions of Dish satellite homes? CNN already gone

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Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation, speaking on October 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The CBS network may go dark in millions of Dish Network homes on Thursday.

That’s when Dish’s contract to carry CBS expires, and the two sides have yet to sign a new one. For now they’re trading barbs in the press, putting pressure on each other and causing some Dish customers to worry about losing access to the network.

The satellite distributor is already missing some programming: eight channels owned by Turner Broadcasting, including CNN, are currently unavailable in Dish Network’s 14 million households due to a month-long contract dispute.

A Turner web site about the dispute has been urging Dish customers to switch providers. On Tuesday, Turner ratcheted up the pressure by warning that Dish is also “threatening to drop” TNT and TBS.

“Our efforts in recent weeks to restore the Turner networks to Dish customers have been rejected at every turn by Dish leadership,” a Turner spokeswoman said when asked for comment on Tuesday.

“The upcoming expiration on December 5 of our carriage agreement for TNT and TBS means Dish may drop those networks as well. We remain hopeful that we will reach an agreement that restores our networks to the air and eliminates the risk of Dish removing additional Turner networks from its channel lineup.”

Dish did not respond to a request for comment about Turner.

The comments from Turner came on the same day that CBS issued a new statement about its looming contract expiration.

A CBS blackout would be a big deal because it is the single most popular network on American TV, and because it carries popular NFL games on Sunday afternoons through the rest of the year.

CBS and Dish (DISH) may agree to short-term contract extensions while they haggle over the details, but for the time being, Thursday is the deadline.

On Tuesday morning CBS upped the pressure by accusing Dish of “deliberately dragging its feet for months.”

“Now, as the deadline nears, Dish appears willing to drop the most popular programming in its entire channel lineup because it won’t negotiate the same sort of deal that other cable, satellite and telco companies have struck with CBS,” the network’s statement said.

In a statement last week, after CBS began speaking publicly about the possibility of a blackout, Dish said, “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.”


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  • Lynn

    By playing hardball, and being condesending to it”s subscribers,(” loss of Turner channels a non event”-Ergen) Dish is in danger of a massive loss of subscribers.

  • Michael

    Evidently CBS is demanding Dish to pay a lot extra for a bundle which includes rarely watched channels. Dish is right for not giving in. I’ll watch CBS with my good old trusty rabbit ears.

    • Michele

      it’s nice to see at least someone has done their homework :) Been with DISH for 14 years and seen this happen more than a few times. Love that Charlie isn’t one to back down and bow down to the Broadcast Mafia.

    • John

      Dish does exactly what they are accusing CBS of doing. I have no children in the house, I don’t watch sports and I don’t watch Music TV yet even the least expensive package from Dish is loaded with ESPN, Disney, Nick, MTV etc. How is this different from what they accuse CBS of doing. I don’t care about the above crap but I do want the Networks.

  • Kelly Hartle

    I’m a Dish Network subscriber who often watches all the Turner Broadcasting networks, and I’m getting sick of Dish’s attitude. I get mad whenever I look on the guide and the channels I usually watch say “(Blank) has been removed by Turner,” as if they had nothing to do with it.

    • Michele

      So you’re sick of DISH’s attitude? Sick of having a provider who fights for their customers to keep their rates low and doesn’t cave into every Turner and CBS that flexes their muscles. I’ve seen this happen from time to time over the past 14 years and the team at DISH goes to bat for their customers every time. Sorry you don’t see the value in that.

  • Michele

    I love the people who are “dropping” DISH over the latest issues with channel renewal. Go ahead, defect somewhere else and you won’t find any difference. All these big broadcast networks are bullies who try to strong arm providers into carrying programming that no one watches or wants just to jack up the price and prove their might. It happens everywhere no matter the provider. I have been with DISH for 14 years and have seen this happen many times over the years and I would rather be with a provider that has MY interests and MY bottom line in the forefront of their minds when negotiating these deals than a coward provider that just gives in to these broadcasters no matter their demands. That’s why DISH has been able to provide awesome programming with a fair and reasonable cost all these years.

    • John

      But Dish is just the same. My programming package is filled with crap. Even with the least expensive package there are almost 100 useless channels. Where is the a la cart model that everyone wants? Why doesn’t dish boycott all providers instead of the ones that many of us want?

  • Debbie

    This is crazy.. My contract is up.. Why keep something with my best stations leaving. Fox and CBS and who knows what else! What do they want me to pay for. Watching the dish man telling me how to use their system??? They are going to lose alot of customers. It is a shame . I enjoyed dish.. but this is not what I payed for.

  • fayeroney

    I think it is so sad that our local channel CBS is so greedy!!!!! Do they not know that we the people of the USA are having difficulty paying for our food- clothing- meds- and utility bills!!!!! For once can all tv stations report how unfair it is to the people who have supported CBS all these years. I know my family cannot afford another increase to watch tv. I just hope CBS will step back and adjust their thinking!!!! GREED!!!!!!

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