Dish Network and CBS reached multi-year agreement late Thursday night, hours after nearly three million customers were unable to watch the Los Angeles Chargers-Dallas Cowboys game.
The blackout impacted the home cities of CBS’ Thanksgiving Day game, along with other major markets like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston. Terms of the agreement that ended the two-day blackout, an increasing occurrence between networks and cable/satellite operators, were not disclosed.
“We are pleased we have reached a deal with Dish, who recognizes the value that the number one Network brings to viewers in these markets,” said Ray Hopkins, president of television networks distribution for CBS in a statement. “Dish customers will continue to get CBS’ must-have content, while we are also able to achieve our short and long-term economic and strategic goals.”
CBS, Dish Network have settled carriage dispute, reached multiyear agreement. pic.twitter.com/uo3LxJZ5qM— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) November 24, 2017
Warren Schlichting, Dish Network's executive vice president of marketing, said the company was "grateful to our customers for their patience this holiday week as months of work has resulted in a deal."
The blackout drew outrage on social media, especially among Cowboys and Chargers fans who were unable to watch the Chargers' 28-6 victory. Many turned to CBS’ streaming service to view the games.
The deal between the CBS-owned affiliates and Dish Network also includes CBS Sports Network, POP and Smithsonian Channel, according to the news release.
Beyond the nation’s biggest media markets, the blackout also impacted Dish Network customers in Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Minneapolis, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh. and Baltimore.
The financial disagreement that caused the blackout played out as Dish Network's subscriber base was impacted by hurricanes. The company removed approximately 145,000 subscribers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from its Pay-TV subscriber count as of Sept. 30, after the areas were hit by devastating storms.
The move, which ensured the customers would not be billed for service they could not receive, reduced Dish Network's third-quarter count of Pay-TV subscribers to 13.203 million, down from 13.643 million for the same period last year.
Like other satellite TV providers, Dish Network has also lost subscribers who have switched to streaming services, such as Netflix.
The blackout also posed a financial risk for CBS, because the network relies on the carriage fees paid by Dish Network. Additionally, CBS advertisers count on the ability to reach Dish Network subscribers.
Contributing: Kevin McCoy