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Ergen: Advantage Tilting Toward Distribution

Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said as the programming bundle loosens, distributors are beginning to gain more leverage in carriage negotiations.

“In general I think the tilt has moved a little more in the distributor’s favor,” Ergen said on a conference call with media after Dish’s first quarter results. “The content owner still has some advantages and is probably a little stronger in negotiations than the distributor, but I think it has moved in the distributor’s direction some.”

Ergen said the advent of over-the-top services like Dish’s Sling TV and others, as well as a willingness by operators to weather long blackout periods, sliding ratings for linear content and the difficulty in luring back lost viewers all play a role too.

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