Dish ends CBS blackout without locking in deal for Sling TV

The deal restores not only CBS, but also Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel, to the Dish satellite TV service.

Dish Network reached a multiyear program licensing deal with CBS but was unable to reach an agreement to bundle the CBS TV Network with Sling TV.

The deal restores not only CBS, but also Showtime, CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel, to the Dish satellite TV service.

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


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The two companies didn’t disclose details about their deal. The agreement was announced at midnight EST on Friday.

RELATED: Nearly 4M Dish subcribers in 18 cities blacked out from CBS; Charter interruption could be next

The agreement ended a three-day blackout that kept Dish viewers in 18 markets served by CBS-owned-and-operated stations from seeing a marquee Thanksgiving Day NFL matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. 

Sling TV is the oldest and largest vMPVD service, serving about 2 million subscribers. It launched in February 2015, a few months after Dish and CBS signed their last agreement—which also came after a short (12 hours) blackout.

With a base price of $20 a month, Sling TV is the cheapest vMVPD service. But CBS has been conspicuously absent from the platform, with rival vMVPDs including DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu Live all signing agreements with not only CBS Corp., but companies that operate the network’s affiliate stations. 

Dish is expected to include Sling TV rights in its next program licensing agreement with CBS Corp.


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