In what is becoming more common in this age of digital entertainment, Dish Network today has dropped CBS-owned local stations as well as CBS Sports Network, Pop, and Smithsonian Channel services as they renegotiate a carriage deal with CBS. The outage affects 28 local channels in 18 markets including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, a total of approximately 13 million subscribers, who will go without top-rated shows such as NCIS, Big Bang Theory, Thanksgiving Day NFL games, Friday SEC football games, and holiday specials Frosty the Snowman and CBS Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This is not the first time Dish has blacked out channels during a contract renegotiation. Fox News and Fox Business Network were briefly taken off the satellite provider in December 2014 as part of a dispute with Fox, as were CNN and Cartoon Network as part of a dispute with Time-Warner that same month. Dish says that CBS is demanding a much higher increase in carriage fees, even though Dish maintains that overall viewership of CBS among their subscribers is down by as much as 20 percent over the last three years. Warren Schlichting, Dish Executive Vice President of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales, said in a statement, “We are actively working to negotiate an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish’s programming lineup.” The provider also stated that subscribers can request a free antenna to receive their local CBS channel over the air and will receive up to $10 off their monthly bill should CBS not return to their channel lineup.
Meanwhile, CBS has been actively pushing its CBS All Access service, available for $5.99 per month with ads, $9.99 per month for the ad-free version, which streams on-demand and live broadcast feeds to subscribers. The app is available on Android TVs, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and other smart TV devices.