A short-term agreement has been struck between network broadcaster CBS and DTH operator Dish Network. An existing carriage agreement was due to expire at midnight November 20th, and this new deal will see the risk of a blackout occurring in 14 major US regions.
However, both sides stressed that the new understanding is just a short-term extension of its existing agreement and negotiations would continue to find a fresh formula. There is no clue, for example, as to how long the extension might run.
The regions affected include the nation’s largest and most important markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and San Francisco).
CBS wants more cash for its transmissions, and viewers do not want to be denied around half of Nielsen’s Top 10-rated programming, not least the ever-popular ‘Monday Night Football’.
However, not helping negotiations is a degree of bad blood between Dish and the network broadcasters over Dish’s ‘Autohop’ ad-skipping technology, and a growing list of broadcasters who have toughened it out with Dish, and meaning subscribers are denied their transmissions (Turner’s channels, Weather Channel and others).
CBS, on November 18th, said: “Dish has been deliberately dragging its feet for months. 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.”