Sony’s Plan to Release ‘The Interview’ On Dish Network Falls Apart

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen declined the deal for unspecified reasons, Fox reports

Sony Pictures

A plan to distribute “The Interview” over Dish Network fell apart after talks between Sony and the satellite TV provider broke down over the weekend.

According to Fox Business Network, the Seth RogenJames Franco comedy at the center of the Sony hacking could have been streamed into living rooms as early as Christmas Day.

However, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen declined the deal for unspecified reasons.

Sony declined to TheWrap‘s request for comment.

Dish emerged as a possible distribution partner after Sony pulled the film from its originally intended theatrical release on Christmas Day following threats from hackers of physical violence on any theaters that showed the movie.

Sony CEO Michael Lynton has since come out to pledge that his studio has every intention of releasing the film. “There are a number of options open to us and we have considered those and are considering them,” he told CNN on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Art House Convergence, a national coalition of smaller, independent movie theaters, on Monday told Sony Pictures that its members are willing and anxious to screen “The Interview.”

The group sent its message in an open letter to Lynton and Amy Pascal, pledging its support for them and the company’s employees targeted in the November hack attack.

“Circumstance has propelled ‘The Interview’ into a spotlight on values, both societal and artistic, and in honor of our support, we want to offer our help in a way that honors our long tradition of defending creative expression,” said Russ Collins, the group’s director.

Included in the letter was a link to a petition urging other independent theater owners to tell Sony that they would screen the film as well.

“We understand there are risks involved in screening ‘The Interview.’ We will communicate these risks as clearly as we can to our employees and customers and allow them to make their own decisions, as is the right of every American,” the letter said.

The nation’s largest theater chains said that they would not screen the film after the terror threat, and Sony hours later scrapped its release. Subsequently, Sony’s Lynton has said that when the major chains pulled out, the studio had no choice but to cancel.

On Friday, the FBI concluded North Korea was responsible for the hacking.

President Obama called the hacking “cybervandalism,” but stopped short of calling it an act of war. For its part, North Korea has denied involvement and turned the tables in the war of words, threatening retaliation.