Ergen Sees a Path to Viacom Carriage

As the deadline for its carriage deal with Viacom nears, Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen told analysts that he is more optimistic that a renewal deal can be reached but warned that he is willing to do without the channels if the conversation is solely around price.

Viacom networks are scheduled to go dark to Dish’s 14 million customers nationwide at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday if a carriage renewal deal can’t be reached. Viacom began notifying Dish customers Tuesday that there is a possibility they may lose access to channels like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1 if an agreements isn’t reached.

According to Dish’s quarterly financial statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, Viacom notified Dish on March 17 that its networks would go dark on April 20 absent a new deal.

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