Ergen: Advantage Tilting Toward Distribution

Dish chief says loosening bundle adding to distributors’ leverage

Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said as the programming bundle loosens, distributors are beginning to gain more leverage in carriage negotiations.

“In general I think the tilt has moved a little more in the distributor’s favor,” Ergen said on a conference call with media after Dish’s first quarter results. “The content owner still has some advantages and is probably a little stronger in negotiations than the distributor, but I think it has moved in the distributor’s direction some.”

Ergen said the advent of over-the-top services like Dish’s Sling TV and others, as well as a willingness by operators to weather long blackout periods, sliding ratings for linear content and the difficulty in luring back lost viewers all play a role too.

For the full story go to