Over the past couple of days, the number one story on CBS4's website has been...CBS4 -- and the possibility of the station being dropped from DISH Network, headed by Charlie Ergen, who Forbes recently placed on its list of the five richest Coloradans. "Our viewers should be prepared to lose CBS from their DISH systems on Thursday evening at 7:00 PM/ET," notes the station, whose list of features that could vanish begins with Broncos games and ends with CBS4 news. What's the deal?
Here's the explanation shared under the banner "DISH May Drop CBS From Its Lineup Tonight:"
For six months, CBS has been vigorously attempting to secure fair carriage deals with Dish. During that time, Dish has clearly not been operating with the same sense of urgency. In the last few weeks, we have granted two extensions, in the hopes that this would give both parties sufficient time to come to a resolution. The second extension, which protected Dish subscribers' programming over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was the final one. We would very much like to avoid going dark, thereby joining the more than 120 stations Dish has dropped since 2013 alone. Unless agreements are reached, however, our viewers should be prepared to lose CBS from their Dish systems on Thursday evening at 7:00 PM/ET.
These public games of chicken over broadcasting rights have generally been resolved without major networks like CBS getting the heave-ho -- but the prominence of the pitch on CBS4's site suggests that the latest face-off may be the most divisive yet. So, too, does this video, which emphasizes the possible disappearance of football, then entertainment programming and -- oh, yeah -- local news. Check it out below, followed by CBS4's list of frequently asked questions.
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Frequently asked questions:
Q: Why might Dish stop carrying CBS?
Cable, Satellite and Telco companies come to agreements with each network and cable channel for the ability to include that channel in the packages they offer you. While CBS has been able to reach agreement with all other major carriers of our stations, we are finding it difficult to reach agreement with DISH, which is why we felt it necessary to alert DISH subscribers in our stations' markets that they may soon not have access to view our programming.
Q: What can I do to help stop Dish from dropping CBS?
Call your local DISH office to demand they keep CBS on their line-up. You can also call 855-5 Keep Us (855-553-3787) to be directly connected to DISH or send them an e-mail, tweet or Facebook post using the links on this site.
Q: Which stations could I lose?
Please find your market below to see which stations could be lost. You may also lose the ability to watch programming on Showtime and CBS Sports Network.
Boston WBZ-TV/CBS WSBK-TV/My Network TV
Dallas KTVT-TV/CBS KTXA-TV/Independent
Detroit WWJ-TV/CBS WKBD-TV/CW
Los Angeles KCBS-TV/CBS KCAL-TV/Independent
Miami WFOR-TV/CBS WBFS-TV/My Network TV
New York WCBS-TV/CBS WLNY-TV/Independent
Philadelphia KYW-TV/CBS WPSG-TV/CW
Pittsburgh KDKA-TV/CBS WPCW-TV/CW
Sacramento KOVR-TV/CBS KMAX-TV/CW
San Francisco KPIX-TV/CBS KBCW-TV/CW
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.