Dish Network and CBS end their three-day-old programming fee fight

As of the writing of this column, neither company has released final terms of the agreement.

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DISH had refused the amount of money that CBS had attempted to command for its programming, infuriating the broadcaster who had noted that the satellite operator had reached a carriage agreement with a one other cable network more than double its asking price, for what CBS asserted was "far less" than half the ratings. Those channels - CBS Sports Network, Pop and the Smithsonian Channel - had also gone dark and are now back to normal for Dish customers.

In total, 28 local channels in 18 markets across 26 states were pulled off the air until the two companies came to an agreement. Boston and Miami also were among the affected markets, potentially affecting viewership of Sunday's Dolphins-Patriots game, and Dish subscribers in Denver were in danger of missing the Broncos-Raiders matchup Sunday. The reaction was particularly sharp from Cowboys and Chargers fans who were not able to watch the Thanksgiving Day game.

The deal comes after nearly three days of no CBS programming on Dish, including the NFL game on Thanksgiving Day, though it will allow football fans to watch SEC college games Friday and Saturday and an NFL doubleheader on Sunday.

Dish Network and CBS Corp. say their three-day fight over programming fees is over, and CBS programming is now available for Dish customers. The blackout happened late Monday night, the latest instance of CBS and Dish Network's business relations souring. The standoff reportedly occurred because CBS wanted Dish to bundle its modestly rated channels (Smithsonian, Pop, and CBS Sports Network) with the main CBS channel, something it was hesitant to do.

  • Eleanor Harrison