CBS, DISH Reach Multi-Year Carriage Deal

The companies also settle its pending litigation over commercial-skipping tool AutoHop

Last Updated: December 6, 2014 @ 8:32 AM

CBS and DISH reached a multi-year carriage agreement after CBS-owned stations went dark in 18 markets on Friday night.

According to the agreement made early on Saturday morning, DISH will have the ability to transmit CBS-owned stations across the country, as well as CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Channel, TVGN and Showtime Networks, which includes Showtime TV Everywhere and Video-on-Demand rights.

Additionally, the companies have agreed to drop pending litigation over DISH’s AutoHop commercial-skipping functionality after the satellite company agreed the tool will not be available for CBS Television Network-owned stations and affiliates in the first week of a program airing.

“We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives,” said CBS Corporations’ Television Networks Distribution president, Ray Hopkins, in a statement. “We look forward to having DISH as a valued partner for many years to come.”

“We are pleased to continue delivering CBS programming to our customers, while expanding their digital access to Showtime content through Showtime Anytime,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH’s Programming senior vice president.

The agreement arrives after CBS’s decision to go dark in 18 cities on Friday and follows a protracted dispute between the two companies over how much DISH should pay to carry CBS programming, a dispute that has occasionally turned ugly, with harsh words being hurled on both sides.

In a statement issued Friday, CBS said that it had attempted to resolve the dispute for six months, granting two extensions, and accused DISH of “dragging its feet at our many attempts to negotiate in good faith.”

For its part, DISH claims that the blackout was due to an impasse on negotiations for the “unrelated” CBS Sports Network.

In between the extensions and negotiations, the back-and-forth between the two companies has been heated at times. In November, CBS accused DISH of stalling while the two companies were trying to hash out how much DISH should pay to carry the network.

“Not reaching agreements is nothing new for DISH,” the network jabbed.

DISH countered that it has been “actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires,” noting, “Only CBS can force a blackout of its channels.”

DISH previously had very public carriage agreement bouts with Turner, which resulted in the pulling of CNN, Cartoon Network and other Turner channels from Dish’s roster in October. In November, the companies agreed to a multi-month extension of its negotiations that restored the Turner offerings to DISH.

The essential source
for entertainment insiders

Sign up for your
FREE TRIAL!