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Will CBS and Dish Ever Agree to Disagree?


Here we go again; a television network and a television provider are battling over how to use other people’s money in bargaining an agreement for carriage. This time CBS and the Dish network have stopped the clock and will attempt to figure out how much of other people’s money should be spent to keep CBS programming on the DISH service.

Dish subscribers will get CBS programming including the NFL and 60 Minutes through Tuesday but if the two sides cannot reach a deal, Dish subscribers will temporarily lose CBS’s programming. At present, Dish subscribers are without CNN and other Time Warner properties and they could lose Time Warner’s sports and some regional sports networks in the upcoming weeks because contracts are up.

The dance between networks and providers is nothing new. CBS went one month without being on Time Warner systems in 2013. The consumer always has a choice in terms of switching from one carrier to another provider. But neither the networks nor the providers seem to care all that much about the consumer. In the past in many disputes, both sides have conducted a public relations campaign blaming the other side for the impasse. The networks claim costs are going up while the carriers counter with our subscribers cannot afford constant price hikes.

A loosening of federal regulation that was established in 1984 probably would help. If customers were free to choose what networks they want instead of having to take what the provider offers, it would change the playing field. But Congress will not take up the cable/satellite problem and has shown no appetite to undo the 1984 Cable TV Act.

CBS programming will be on Dish this weekend. But don’t expect the school yard like taunts commercials with threats that the big bad satellite provider is taking away your favorite shows or the network wants too much money for their fare to end. Until the pay television industry is regulated, there will be stoppages of programming as the big boys bicker over how to spend other people’s money.

This article was republished with permission from the author, Evan Weiner. The original article was published on www.sportstalkflorida.com and can be viewed by clicking here.


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