No CBS on Sling TV: Topic was discussed during talks to resolve Dish Network blackout
Sling TV subscribers shouldn’t expect to see local CBS stations in their channel lineup anytime soon.
Dish Network reached a retransmission-consent agreement over the weekend with CBS that ended a blackout of the channel. About 4 million Dish Network subscribers went without CBS over the Thanksgiving holiday. The dispute aggravated sports fans that were expecting to watch CBS football.
During the talks, Dish Network broached the topic of adding CBS to Sling TV, its live streaming service. Broadcasting & Cable reported that sources familiar with the talks say that CBS resisted being added to Sling TV. Neither CBS nor Dish Network representatives would officially comment.
CBS had demanded a sizable increase in fees it charges Dish for the rights to retransmit its TV station signals, according to The Los Angeles Times. It came at a time when Dish Network is dealing with customer attrition.
The Times reported that satellite and cable companies have lost millions of customers to cord cutting in recent years. The national average for a cable bill is around $103 per month.
Sling TV faces new competitors, including lower-priced Philo
Sling TV has attracted scores of customers interested in shaving their traditional cable or satellite TV subscription. The live streaming service has almost 2 million customers nationwide.
But its luster as being the lowest cost option for cord cutters or cord shavers is being challenged.
A new live streaming platform called Philo debuted nationwide two weeks ago. Philo offers 35+ live channels including A&E, AMC, and Animal Planet for $16 per month. It’s only offered supported on Roku devices, but will eventually expand to other popular streaming players.
Meanwhile, CBS has already struck deals with many of Sling TV’s competitors like PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, fuboTV and YouTube TV. As choices for live streaming TV over the Internet broadens, having no CBS on Sling TV could hurt the live streaming platform.
The CBS blackout on Dish Network impacted roughly 4 million customers across 26 states, according to The American Television Alliance. Broadcasters have a long history of using TV blackouts as weapons to extract higher fees from consumers. Since 2010, there have been more than 800 broadcaster-initiated blackouts, the Alliance said. With 212 blackouts this year, 2017 is the worst year for TV blackouts on record.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble
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