Another carriage dispute has resulted in the blackout of TV networks. As of 2 AM ET on October 21, several Turner Broadcast nets, including CNN, Cartoon Network and TruTV, are no longer available on Dish Network after Turner and the satellite provider could not reach a new deal following lengthy negotiations and extensions to the two companies’ previous contract.
“Despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an agreement with Dish Network, and they have unilaterally decided to pull CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang off the air upon the expiration of our current deal,” Turner said in a statement shortly after its networks went dark. “Turner has worked diligently for months to come to a fair agreement including multiple extensions and compromises, and it’s unfortunate that Dish is once again operating in a disruptive manner that takes away networks and programming from their customers. We are hopeful our counterparts will return to the negotiating table, and we’ll get a deal completed.”
Not affected by the blackout are Turner Broadcasting’s flagship cable networks TNT and TBS, which are not part of the agreement involved in the spat.
As is always the case in carriage disputes, each sides blames the other. In Dish’s statement on the blackout, the satcaster said that “Turner Networks removed” the seven networks “from the DISH programming lineup,” stressing that “Turner refused to extend the overall agreement.”
“In the past year, DISH has successfully renewed agreements with many large content providers,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH SVP of Programming. “As a result, we are confident that we have offered a deal to Turner that reflects an appropriate value for our customers.”
“DISH has had a productive relationship with Turner Networks for many years,” Schlichting added. “We regret the service disruption to our customers, and remain committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to DISH’s programming lineup.”
Dish has been involved in several high-profile carriage disputes over the past decade that have led to the pulling of cable networks, including the 2012 standoff with AMC Networks, in which AMC and its sibling channels were off Dish’s platforms for months, and a similar blackout of Viacom nets, including MTV, in 2004.
For Turner, the blackout comes as the company is in the midst of a major cost-cutting campaign that involves some 1,475 layoffs, including 300 positions eliminated at CNN.