Mon, Dec 08, 2014 - Page 15 News List

CBS, Dish resolve dispute, ending 12-hour blackout

NY Times News Service, New york

CBS programming was restored for Dish Network subscribers on Saturday morning after the broadcaster and the satellite television provider resolved a six-month contract dispute.

The programming blackout lasted about 12 hours and affected stations owned and operated by CBS in 14 markets across the nation, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The stations returned to Dish’s service before a series of football games over the weekend, including the Southeastern Conference championship game between Alabama and Missouri on Saturday.

The companies said that they reached a multi-year agreement covering CBS-owned stations, as well as the broadcaster’s CBS Sports Network, Showtime and other networks.

The deal also gives Dish video-on-demand and other digital rights for Showtime, the premium cable network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives,” CBS Corp television networks distribution president Ray Hopkins said in a statement.

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

While relatively brief, the standoff between CBS and Dish underscored the increased tensions between television programmers and the cable, satellite and telecom companies that distribute their programming.

Television groups are battling not only to receive higher rates for their programming, but also to hold on to the digital rights.

At the same time, distributors are fighting to stem increasing programming costs, contending that customers ultimately end up paying the bill.

Among the issues negotiated between CBS and Dish were digital rights, Dish’s plans for a new subscription-based streaming television service and terms for Dish’s Hopper, a digital video recording service that allows people to skip commercials.

As part of the agreement, people will not be able to skip commercials with the Hopper service for CBS-owned network stations and affiliates for the first seven days after a program is televised.

Television networks have been pushing advertisers to buy commercial time based on ratings from that seven-day period.

Pending litigation between the two companies, including over the ad-skipping service, was dismissed.

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