NBCU Warns Viewers About Dish Impasse

NBCU has launched a marketing campaign warning viewers of its TV station and some major owned cable nets that they could be losing access to the stations March 20 if NBC and Dish can't strike a new carriage deal.

Negotiations have heated up in the past 10 days, but currently there is no resolution on the horizon, according to a source familiar with the talks.

“We are disappointed that Dish would deny its subscribers access to valuable programming on NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and more," the network said in a statement. "NBCUniversal has the most-watched portfolio in the U.S. and on Dish systems, including the #1 broadcast network, the #1 cable entertainment network, and NBCUniversal is #1 in news and late night television.”

Stations getting the message are the 10 NBC and 16 Telemundo O&O's. Cable nets that could no longer be available include USA, Syfy, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and a couple of others.

A source said NBC was surprised that the negotiations had not borne fruit given the popularity of NBC on Dish, though ultimately the sticking point is the price Dish is willing to pay for that programming, or alternately the price NBC is willing to accept.

The campaign will take the form of scrolls in programming, pop-up messages on station or network websites, and ads in O&O markets, including Washington. The message is that Dish subs could be losing access to their favorite shows and subs .

A Dish spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.