CNN, other Turner channels are back on Dish Network — for now
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — CNN and seven other channels owned by Turner Broadcasting are back on Dish Network — for now — after a month-long blackout.
Turner and Dish announced Friday that they’d struck a deal to restore the programming for several months. The extension is not a new long-term contract, so negotiations will continue.
The two companies did not describe the reasons for the extension, other than to say that “they have mutually decided to restore service of CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang, and extend the carriage of TBS and TNT.”
The blackout of CNN and the other channels began without warning on October 21. When it happened, Turner blamed Dish for “operating in a disruptive manner” while the satellite company blamed Turner for “making unreasonable financial demands.”
Tense negotiations between distributors and programmers are common, but channel blackouts are relatively rare.
The blackout inconvenienced some Dish customers and suppressed the ratings for Turner’s channels, including CNN. (Dish provides satellite TV to 14 million households, roughly 1 out of 7 homes that subscribe to some form of TV package in the United States.)
Earlier this week, Turner began telling Dish customers that they might also lose TNT and TBS, which are Turner’s two most popular channels. The carriage deal for TNT and TBS was supposed to expire on December 5.
Thanks to the extension announced on Friday, though, those two channels will not be blacked out next month. The extension ensures that all ten Turner channels will be carried through early 2015.
The timing is significant because Turner’s channels will be carrying the NCAA college basketball tournament in March and the NBA playoffs in April — potentially giving Turner a lot of leverage.
Separately, Dish remains in negotiations with another major programming provider, CBS Corp. (CBS)
Dish’s deal to carry CBS was set to expire on Thursday, but the two sides agreed to a short-term extension, so no programming interruption has occurred.
After Turner’s announcement on Friday, CBS said there was no update on its negotiations.