CBS Blacked Out to Dish Network Customers

If you had Dish Network this past week, you probably had a difficult day on Thanksgiving. This is around the time of year, carriage deals for some of the major studios and networks begin to re-negotiate their contracts. Usually, it leads to a lot of empty threats of losing certain programming. However, CBS took the nasty step of blacking out CBS programming to nearly two million subscribers for nearly three days.

Many subscribers woke up on Tuesday morning to see that all CBS and CBS-affiliated networks were off the air. The reported standoff came when CBS wanted Dish to bundle it modestly rated channels like Smithsonian, Pop, and CBS Sports Network with the main CBS channel. Dish was not so keen on the idea.

The blackout remained in effect until late in the day on Thanksgiving Day, when many people missed out on their traditional NFL games.

“We are grateful to our customers for their patience this holiday week as months of work has resulted in a deal that delivers CBS for years to come,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish’s executive vice president of marketing, programming, and media sales.

As of Thanksgiving evening, CBS channels had been back on Dish Network. Fans got to see the latest episode of Young Sheldon before going to bed. This is a normal practice for broadcast providers. The major points of conflict usually have something to do with price (Disney charging for ESPN) or bundling less requested channels with more popular channels.

Seldom do channels resort to blacking out during negotiations. However, it is something that works in favor of the content providers. Since they receive their billing and content from someone like Dish, they receive the ire of the customer. Customers need to understand that when the bills go up, it is due to the pricing from the content provider like CBS. So, don’t complain when the January bill arrives.