EchoStar Users Can't Get Their MTV (Or CBS)

from the cable-fight! dept

Well, the fight is on. Yesterday, there was some discussion in our comments about scrolling messages seen on CBS about the Dish Network. It was assumed that these were an attempt to “TiVo-proof” advertisements, but it turns out to be something entirely different. They weren’t so much ads for the Dish network, but against the Dish Network. Viacom and EchoStar (owners of the Dish Network) have been fighting over how much EchoStar should pay for Viacom programming. EchoStar claims that Viacom is asking for too much money, and requiring that Dish include many channels that they have no interest in including. Thus, as of midnight last night, the Dish Network has stopped carrying Viacom channels, including CBS and MTV, in certain cities (representing about 17% of their customers). It appears the so-called “ads” were actually warning messages that Dish was going to turn off Viacom programming (as they did). Over at, they’re running a good analysis of the growing tension between content and delivery that this fight represents, and suggests this is one of the many reasons why all these media companies (on both sides of the equation) are looking to get bigger, in order to have more leverage in these deals. Meanwhile, here’s an interview with EchoStar’s Charlie Ergen that was conducted late last week, where he makes it clear that he’s not ready to budge unless Viacom lowers their prices.

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Comments on “EchoStar Users Can't Get Their MTV (Or CBS)”

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Timothy Johnson (user link) says:

Dan Rather makes too much money anyway...

I’m waiting for a group similar to the RIAA to walk in and say that each Dish Network Customer is going to be required to pay a royalty to watch Friends, or Dan Rather, or whatever – and god forbid you have more than one person in your home while it’s on.

I think I’m going to switch from Dish Network to Home Movies my dad made in 1962 about my first vacation to the beach… and I wasn’t even born until 78!?

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