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CBS agrees to temporary extension with Dish Network, avoiding football blackout

The logo of Dish Network.
The logo of Dish Network.

Dish Network satellite customers will not be without their Sunday morning and afternoon football on CBS thanks to a temporary carriage extension between the two companies.

CBS has warned viewers for much of the past week that its channels could soon go dark on the satellite service when its carriage contract with Dish lapsed on Thursday.

The two companies announced Thursday evening that the channels would remain on the satellite platform through Sunday. The temporary extension means football enthusiasts will be able to watch a handful of games broadcast on the Tiffany Network.

It is unclear how long the extension will last; CBS could force Dish to remove its channels from the satellite platform’s lineup if an agreement is not reached within the next few days.

CBS continues to warn viewers that the network could be dropped by Dish if an agreement isn’t reached; Dish has responded by saying only CBS can force a blackout of the channels.

In October, Dish dropped several channels owned by Turner, including CNN and the Cartoon Network, after a similar carriage agreement lapsed.

The disputes tend to arise after a broadcaster demands more money from a cable or satellite operator in exchange for retransmission of certain channels. Pay TV companies usually say the networks are extorting more money from customers, while the broadcasters retort that they are merely seeking a fair price for their programming.

Both the CBS and Turner disputes with Dish are no different. However, Dish may be holding out for additional benefits in its retransmission agreements due in part to a new Internet TV service the company is planning to launch within the next year.

An earlier agreement reached between Dish and the Disney Corporation permits the satellite company to offer a handful of Disney-owned channels on the forthcoming streaming TV service.

It is unclear what terms CBS and Dish are seeking during their current retransmission negotiations. If talks break down, CBS would likely order Dish to stop transmitting CBS-owned local stations in several large markets, including Los Angeles (KCBS Channel 2, KCAL Channel 9), New York (WCBS Channel 2, WLNY Channel 55), Chicago (WBBM Channel 2) and San Francisco (KPIX Channel 5, KBCW Channel 44).