Dish Network subscribers in New York, LA lose access to CBS

CBS will no longer be available to Dish Network subsribers in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other big cities because the two media giants failed to reach an agreement on a new contract.

It's the ultimate hardball tactic by CBS who is balking at Dish's negotiating strategy.

LA Times:

“CBS programming is no longer available to Dish subscribers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Dallas, Denver, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and several other markets,” CBS said in a statement.

“CBS has been negotiating a carriage agreement with Dish for six months and has already granted two extensions. During this time, Dish has dragged its feet at our many attempts to negotiate in good faith," CBS said.

Dish customers were disappointed to learn about the blackout, which means they won't be able to watch such CBS shows as "Blue Bloods" and local news.

"Now I have a TV provider that doesn't provide the channels that I really want to see," said Bobby Campbell, a longtime Dish subscriber who lives in Mound, Minn. "The people who get hurt the most are always the subscribers."

CBS had established a Thursday deadline for a new carriage deal, and talks continued for 24 hours before falling apart.

Without an agreement in place, Dish was not authorized to retransmit signals of 26 television stations owned by CBS. 

It's not clear how long the blackout will last.

"We are disappointed that CBS has chosen to black out their local channels, but remain optimistic that the channels will return quickly as both sides are continuing to work [Friday night] to finalize an agreement," Dish said in a statement.

Sales of digital antennas, which allow consumers to capture over-the-air signals such as CBS, are expected to get a lift if the outage drags on for several days. Some viewers will seek to restore CBS on their own.

One ray of hope for subscrbers; NFL football. CBS will be under tremendous pressure to reach a deal with Dish before Sunday's NFL kickoffs. If subscribers in big cities with NFL teams are unable to view their favorites,. the fallout in lost subscriptions as well as bad PR for CBS would be significant.

We're seeing more and more of these games of chicken between providers and broadcasters in the satellite and cable industries. In the end, the big losers are subscribers who either lose programming for a time or are forced to pay more for watching TV.

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