CBS programming is back on for Dish Network customers after the two companies agreed to a new contract.
CBS and Dish announced a multiyear carriage contract Saturday morning, ending a nearly 12-hour blackout of CBS-owned television stations across the US for subscribers of the satellite TV service. The deal includes 27 CBS-owned stations as well as CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Channel, TVGN and Showtime Networks.
"We are pleased to continue delivering CBS programming to our customers, while expanding their digital access to Showtime content through Showtime Anytime," said Warren Schlichting, Dish senior vice president of programming, in a statement.
Under the new contract, Dish secured video-on-demand rights to content from Showtime -- and a path toward including the premium channel in its planned Internet TV service. Dish customers will also now have access to the Showtime Anytime streaming service.
In a win for CBS (the parent company of CBS Interactive, publisher of CNET), Dish also agreed to limit customers' use of its AutoHop commercial-skipping feature. For shows on CBS stations, AutoHop will be disabled for seven days after a show airs in prime time -- essentially killing the feature for Dish customers. Dish subscribers will now have to wait a week to watch new episodes of CBS shows without commercials or return to manually fast-forwarding through commercials on their DVR.
CBS and other broadcast networks have said AutoHop threatens to destroy the advertising system that supports their content and that Dish doesn't have the right to tamper with advertising from broadcast replays for its own economic and commercial advantage. Dish has argued that consumers have the right to privately watch shows anywhere, anytime.
As part of Saturday's CBS-Dish deal, all pending litigation, including disputes over AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime, has been dismissed, the companies said in a joint release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives," Ray Hopkins, president of television networks distribution for CBS, said in a statement. "We look forward to having Dish as a valued partner for many years to come."
Both Dish and CBS declined to provide additional comment.
The blackout came after CBS granted Dish a pair of extensions after the companies' previous deal expired in November. The companies were grappling over retransmission fees, the money Dish pays to carry the signals of CBS-owned stations, as well as digital content rights.
Dish subscribers expecting to see CBS programming Friday evening were greeted with the full-screen message: "Sorry for the interruption. There is no need to call us. We are aware that this TV station is temporarily unavailable and we will have this channel back as soon as possible."
The programming blackout hit at least 14 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and, according to Dish, affected more than 2 million of its 14 million customers. CBS content was available to Dish customers again Saturday morning.
Programming blackouts have become a frequent occurrence of late in contract disputes between programming providers and subscription services. In October, Dish's customers lost access to CNN, Turner Classic Movies and a handful of other channels as a result of a contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting. The channels were restored a month later after the two agreed on an extension during ongoing negotiations.
CNET's Steven Musil contributed to this report.