CBS To Cut Off Dish On Dec. 4

Broadcaster Says It Will Not Grant Another Extension
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(Updated: 3:10 p.m. ET)

After a pair of extensions, CBS has set Thursday night as the retransmission-consent Rubicon before its properties go dark on Dish.

The broadcaster's deal for its own-and-operated stations, as well as premium service Showtime Networks and national cable sports channel CBS Sports Network, initially expired on Nov. 20, but have remained available to the No. 2 DBS provider's subscribers via a pair of short-term extensions. CBS said the disconnect moment, though, will occur at 7 p.m. (ET) on Dec. 4, if it can't hammer out a new deal with Dish. 

CBS issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon: "For six months, CBS has been vigorously attempting to secure fair carriage deals with Dish. During that time, Dish has clearly not been operating with the same sense of urgency. In the last few weeks, we have granted two extensions, in the hopes that this would give both parties sufficient time to come to a resolution. The second extension, which protected Dish subscribers’ programming over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was the final one. We would very much like to avoid going dark, thereby joining the more than 120 stations Dish has dropped since 2013 alone. Unless agreements are reached, however, our viewers should be prepared to lose CBS from their Dish systems on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. (ET). For more information, Dish subscribers can go to www.keepcbs.com.

Asked to comment about CBS's declared deadline, Dish reiterated its original statement: “Only CBS can force a blackout of its channels. Dish is actively working to reach a deal before the contract expires and has successfully negotiated agreements representing hundreds of stations in recent months that benefit all parties, including our viewers. There is time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”

Dish also faces another potential blackout with four Comcast SportsNet regionals. The parties, whose contract expired on Dec. 2, reached a short-term extension that is keeping CSN Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, California and Bay Area on Dish's systems as they continue to negotiate.

The DBS provider offered no comment about the extension for the Comcast RSNs, which are owned and operated by NBC Sports Group.

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