Charlie Ergen’s DISH Network is in a carriage fee dispute with HBO that is getting increasingly acrimonious.
Ergen, chairman of the US broadcaster, used his quarterly call with analysts to explain his side of the dispute, saying: “This is purely an anticompetitive play that we tried to warn about.” He said AT&T is giving away HBO to its wireless subs while asking Dish to pay for a guaranteed number of HBO subs. “That would be malpractice. There’s no company that would sign up to a deal like that.”
Eric Carlson, CEO at DISH, said “It’s not a disagreement over rate for an à la carte premium service. This is about HBO requiring DISH to sign up for a guaranteed number of subscribers, and that’s really regardless of whether another DISH customer ever chooses HBO.”
HBO also added fuel to the fire with HBO boss Richard Pleper saying: “It’s important to clarify that it was DISH who dropped the HBO and Cinemax signals at midnight on October 31st, not the other way around. In fact, we offered to extend our current contract while we continued negotiating. An idea that DISH initially agreed to and then oddly changed their mind about at the 11th hour.”