Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Dish Network loses 7 channels after contract dispute

Michigan television viewers who subscribe to Dish Network may have noticed some missing television channels on Oct. 20. A contract dispute between Dish Network and Turner Broadcasting resulted in Dish customers losing seven channels from the Dish lineup including CNN, Cartoon Network, Headline News, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. There are currently about 14 million subscribers to Dish Network.

According to reports, Turner Broadcasting pulled the channels after the company's contract with Dish Network expired. Turner was apparently unable to come to a renewed agreement about channel distribution terms with Dish Network. According to a statement from Turner Broadcasting, the company had been attempting to reach an agreement with Dish Network for months. During that time, Turner Broadcasting claims to have made multiple extensions and compromises.

The senior vice president of programming at Dish Network claims that Turner Broadcasting turned down a deal that reflected an appropriate value to customers. The vice president also stated that Dish Network has been successful in renewing licensing agreements with several other big content providers over the past year. Recently, disputes between major subscription services and programming providers have resulted in other channel blackouts for cable television subscribers.

There can be many potential conflicts that could arise when it comes time for two companies to renew a contract with each other. During negotiations, it may not be in either of the companies' best interest to let the negative effect of contract disputes get passed down to the customer. A business law attorney may be able to help represent a company that is having a difficult time renewing contracts by advocating for the company's business interests during negotiations.

Source: CNET, "Dish loses 7 channels in contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting", Steven Musil, October 20, 2014

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