Tech Industry

Dish Network customers lose CBS amid contract talks

The blackout affects Dish subscribers in at least 14 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and includes NFL games and "NCIS," the No. 1 TV program last week.

Broadcaster CBS and satellite provider Dish haven't been able to come to terms. Dish Network

Millions of Dish Network customers across the US lost access to CBS on Friday after the broadcaster and satellite provider failed to negotiate a new contract.

The blackout leaves Dish subscribers in at least 14 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco without access to CBS's broadcasts of NFL games and "NCIS," which, according to Nielsen, was the No. 1 TV program last week behind NBC's Sunday night NFL programming. Dish said the interruption of programming affects more than 2 million of its 14 million customers.

The interruption came after CBS, the parent company of CBS Interactive, publisher of CNET, granted Dish a pair of extensions after their previous carriage contract expired while negotiations continued.

"What CBS seeks is appropriate compensation for the most-watched television network with the most popular content in the world, as well as terms that reflect the developing digital marketplace," CBS said in a statement. "We hope that we can reach an agreement very soon so we can all get back to the business of providing the best entertainment, news and sports to the Dish customers we both serve."

Dish sent the following statement: "We are disappointed that CBS has chosen to black out their local channels, but remain optimistic that the channels will return quickly as both sides are continuing to work tonight to finalize an agreement."

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.

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."