CBS said its stations were dropped by Dish Network at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time because a renewal of their retransmission consent agreement had not been reached.
Also blacked out on Dish are CBS-owned cable services CBS Sports Network, Pop and the Smithsonian Channel.
Dish blamed CBS for the situation. It says it offered to extend the current contract for the benefit of consumers while negotiations continue.
Related: CBS Calls Dish Unwilling to Negotiate Fair Deal
The satellite company also said eligible Dish customers could choose to drop the cost of local channels, a savings of $10 a month.
Dish is offering customers who don't want to pay for broadcast channels digital over-the-air antennas and installation, which will allow them to receive the signals for free.
In a statement CBS said:
"Effective 11:59 PM/AM, MT/1:59 AM, ET, DISH has dropped CBS and several other local television stations owned by CBS, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. In addition, CBS Sports Network, Pop and the Smithsonian Channel have been dropped. 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. 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. And now, DISH subscribers are in jeopardy of being without CBS over the Thanksgiving holiday, which would mean they would miss CBS Sports’ NFL and SEC football coverage beginning Thursday, Nov. 23, with the Thanksgiving Day game featuring the Los Angeles Chargers taking on the Dallas Cowboys, as well as Sunday’s NFL Doubleheader; and SEC Football on Friday and Saturday. For more information, DISH subscribers can go to www.KeepCBSonDISH.com."
In its statement, Dish said:
“CBS is attempting to tax DISH customers on programming available for free over the air, and tax DISH customers for content available directly from CBS,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive VP of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales. “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.”
Dish noted that on calls with investors and analysts CBS has boasted about rate increases, forecasting that retransmission revenue will rise from $250 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion by 2020.
Viewership of CBS by Dish subscribers is down 20% over the past three years, Dish added.
In addition to asking for significant price increases for local channels, Dish charged that CBS is attempting to “force bundle” unrelated and low-performing cable channels (CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel) at a premium.
“By attempting to force bundle its cable channels with its local broadcast stations, CBS is using local viewers as leverage to raise rates for channels fewer people are watching,” said Schlichting.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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