CBS: 'Dish is notorious for going dark'

After launching a series of TV commercials warning Dish Network subscribers that they could soon lose access to SEC football games, Naval Criminal Investigative Services-themed procedural dramas and the Big Bang Theory, CBS Corp. sent out a statement Tuesday accusing the satellite operator of "dragging its feet for months" in retrans negotiations.

CBS Dish Network retrans

Click to view the ad CBS ran in the Denver market. (Source: CBS Advertising & Promotion)

"Now, as the deadline nears, Dish (NASDAQ: DISH) appears willing to drop the most popular programming in its entire channel lineup because it won't negotiate the same sort of deal that other cable, satellite and telco companies have struck with CBS," the statement reads. "Not reaching agreements is nothing new for Dish. In fact, Dish has dropped more than 120 stations since 2013 alone, whereas CBS has only had one service disruption. We are committed to providing high-quality programming for our viewers and will continue to negotiate fair value for that content. As we negotiate with Dish, we are also taking the necessary steps to alert fans at KeepCBS.com."

The satellite carrier is "notorious for going dark," the statement added. "Since last year, Dish has had at least 11 disputes resulting in 121 stations going dark. To put that into perspective--according to NAB, Dish has been directly involved in one-third of all reported retransmission disputes with broadcasters resulting in TV blackouts."

Dish's current broadcast retransmission deal with 14 CBS-owned stations, as well as a handful of CW, MyNetworkTV and independent stations, expires Nov. 20. Dish has yet to respond to this latest salvo, but did release a statement Sunday saying it's working toward a "mutually beneficial deal."

In a Nov. 5 conference call with investors, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said he's optimistic about a deal with CBS getting done before a program blackout. However, CBS' launch of a new SVOD service makes the network "less interesting" to pay-TV operators, he said.  

For more:
- view this CBS TV commercial

Related links:
Moonves responds to Ergen: 'You're going to miss those Broncos games'
Ergen says streaming makes CBS 'less interesting to MVPDs' as network readies OTT news service
CBS, Moonves lose nerve on tough OTT position with launch of All Access
Moonves to stations: Get more retrans money out of pay-TV operators or else

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