Dish, Turner Agree to Extension

CNN, Cartoon Network Return, Avoids TNT, TBS Blackout

Turner Broadcasting System said it has agreed to a short-term extension with Dish Network, a deal that will put eight of its pay TV networks back on the air for Dish subscribers, while avoiding a blackout of its flagship TBS and TNT networks.

Eight Turner networks -- CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang -- went dark to Dish’s 14 million customers on Oct. 20 after the parties could not reach an agreement. While the deal to make those nets available to Dish subscribers is temporary – sources familiar with both companies said the extension is for several months and will extend into  2015 -- perhaps the biggest benefit of the extension is that it will avoid a blackout of TNT and TBS, whose contracts were expected to expire on Dec. 5.

That could mean that big upcoming sporting events like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in March will still be availble to Dish subscribers as the partiues hammer out a deal.

This is the second extension Dish has received in carriage negotiations in two days -- on Nov. 20 the company agreed to a short-term extension with broadcaster CBS that is expected to last until Nov. 25.

In a statement, Turner said it and Dish have "mutually decided to restore service of CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang, and extend the carriage of TBS and TNT." The companies added they would have no further comment.