New York, N.Y. – Nov. 22 – We obviously want to strike a fair deal with DISH as soon as possible – but we remain far apart on terms. Understandably, observers of disputes like this are rarely interested in the arguments of either party. But there is one very salient data point to consider in this case: CBS has not been pulled off the air by a distributor since the last time our deal with DISH expired in November of 2014. During this three-year period, CBS has struck dozens of deals while DISH has pulled signals of 29 other companies off the air, representing nearly 400 television stations.
Clearly, pulling content providers off the air is DISH’s way of doing things. CBS, meanwhile has been attempting to advance discussions with DISH since January of this year. Desperate to retain subscribers, DISH suggested that the parties sign an extension, which is something we have done on other occasions, but only when a resolution is close. Unfortunately that is not the case now.
DISH is saying it doesn’t believe CBS programming is worth the market rates we are seeking. Yet they have paid at least one cable network more than double our asking price, for far less than half the ratings. DISH is also using CBS’s three cable networks as an excuse for why they haven’t struck a deal. Yet they currently have deals in place with a number of other broadcasters that have many more associated cable networks than we do. Above all, it is important to remember that DISH subscribers watch CBS more than any other broadcast or cable outlet.
As it stands, DISH customers won’t be watching CBS in the days and weeks ahead. DISH is a 23 billion dollar company that clearly cares more about its profits than the consumer. And unless they move forward and negotiate the same sort of deal we have successfully struck with its competitors, DISH subscribers will not be able to see CBS’s coverage of Thanksgiving football, along with NCIS, Big Bang Theory, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and 60 Minutes. There are, of course, alternative cable, satellite and telco providers that do carry CBS, and DISH subscribers would be wise to consider switching to one of those options.
In the meantime, we continue to stand ready to negotiate a fair deal with DISH.
Dana McClintock 212-975-1077 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelli Raftery 212-975-3161 email@example.com