The new deal ends a signal blackout on Dish's network, which left its 14 million subscribers without CBS programming on Friday night.
Following a short-lived total collapse in commercial relations, CBS Corp. and television provider Dish Network have reached an agreement which brings to an end a long-running contract dispute.
The crisis came to a head less than 24 hours ago when, at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, CBS switched off the signal that allows Dish to broadcast CBS-owned stations nationwide. The markets affected included New York and Los Angeles.
Dish Network customers can watch CBS programming like 'The Big Bang Theory' again after 12-hour blackout
The practical upshot of the switch-off was that, for twelve hours, Dish’s 14 million subscribers were not able to watch programming such as ‘The Big Bang Theory’, ‘Mom’, ‘Blue Bloods’ as well as NFL football shows. CBS had granted two previous last-minute extensions to prevent the blackout, including over Thanksgiving last week, but despite working past the deadline negotiators couldn’t come to an acceptable arrangement.
While the financial details of the new deal were not disclosed, some practical details were revealed, such as Dish’s ability to make Showtime programming available to stream on mobile devices, as well as Dish’s continued rights to broadcast CBS-owned stations nationwide as they existed before the switch-off.
CBS and Dish both reacted to the deal in a joint statement. Dish’s senior vice president Warren Schlichting said: "We are pleased to continue delivering CBS programming to our customers while expanding their digital access to Showtime content through Showtime Anytime.” Ray Hopkins, president of television networks distribution for CBS, said the deal met the company's economic and strategic objectives: "We look forward to having Dish as a valued partner for many years to come."
The flare-up is symptomatic of the existential crisis facing traditional cable programming in the internet streaming age. The growth of on demand television is threatening the viability of its economic model, because increased retransmission fees paid by the distributors to the television companies is bound to eventually hit the consumer, according to many industry insiders.