[Update: Late Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23 the two companies announced a settlement and started restoring the channels. However, between 2 and 3 million Dish customers are estimated to have been without access to the CBS NFL game on Thanksgiving morning between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams.]
A black out of local CBS channels, that’s what happened. Yesterday morning at around 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Dish customers lost access to 28 local CBS stations.
The shut down of those channels is due to carriage disagreements between Dish and CBS, and includes stations based in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Other CBS channels that are blacked out because of the dispute include CBS Sports Network, Pop, and the Smithsonian Channel.
Each company blames each other for not coming to terms, but the customers are the ones who will lose out if the stations are not turned back on for Thanksgiving weekend.
On Thanksgiving day, CBS will carry the professional NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams, as well as SEC conference football games on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, CBS will host two more NFL games featuring Buffalo at Kansas City and Miami at New England.
What’s interesting to note is that Dish is suggesting customers drop local channel service entirely, thereby saving $10 per month. The solution would include setting up an antenna to receive free channels over-the-air, but the option is not for everyone as some locations have trouble receiving the signals.
CBS said in a statement:
“Effective 11:59 PM/AM, MT/1:59 AM, ET, DISH has dropped CBS and several other local television stations owned by CBS, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. In addition, CBS Sports Network, Pop and the Smithsonian Channel have been dropped. Since 2013, DISH has dropped the signals of 29 different companies, representing nearly 400 television stations, clearly indicating that these tactics are commonplace for them. This particular dispute is yet another example of the company punishing its subscribers instead of negotiating a fair carriage deal that reflects the current marketplace.”
Dish said in their statement:
“CBS is attempting to tax DISH customers on programming available for free over the air, and tax DISH customers for content available directly from CBS,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive VP of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales. “Our customers are clear: they don’t want to pay a CBS tax. It’s regrettable and unnecessary that CBS is bringing its greed into the homes of millions of families this Thanksgiving.”
If you’re a Dish customer you may want to try setting up an antenna in case the black out continues through the weekend. You’ll need an antenna and coaxial cable to plug-in to your TV. Step-by-step instructions can be found in this article How to Cut-the-Cord and Watch Free HD Channels Over-the-Air.