CBS and Dish Reach Agreement to End Blackout

Deal covers CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian

CBS and Dish Network announced that they inked a new carriage agreement, ending a week-long blackout.

The multi-year deal covers retransmission consent for CBS-owned stations across the country plus distribution of CBS-owned cable networks CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel.

The agreement came after Dish subscribers missed one NFL football game and before subs missed more college and pro football over the weekend.

Financial terms 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, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation. “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.”

Dish Network said it was restoring the CBS channels to its subscribers.

“We are grateful to our customers for their patience this holiday week as months of work has resulted in a deal that delivers CBS for years to come,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish executive VP of marketing, programming and media sales. 

CBS CEO Les Moonves has long insisted that distributors cannot be successful without CBS as part of their offering. CBS has been steadily increasing the amount of money it generates from retranmission consent. The company expects to be taking in $2.5 bllion annually by 2020.

During CBS's second quarter earnings call in August, COO Joe Ianniello said, "In retrans and reverse comp, virtually all of our deals come up for renewal over the next three years. As you know, each deal we do is better than the last."

He explained that "CBS, as a stand-alone network, generates over 10% of the total ratings across the entire television landscape, including all of cable and broadcast. However, today, we are only getting 2% of the distribution fees. So you can see why we're so confident in the upside here."