CBS back on Dish after 12-hour blackout

After a 12-hour blackout that annoyed viewers, CBS's stations are back on the Dish Network.

Six months of negotiations between CBS and Dish broke down on Friday night, resulting in an programming interruption right before prime time on Friday evening.

Dish said the two companies were at an "impasse" -- but negotiations continued overnight, and shortly before 7:30 a.m. Saturday, a new carriage deal was announced.

In the announcement, the two companies acted like the fight never even happened.

"We look forward to having Dish as a valued partner for many years to come," CBS's president of TV networks distribution, Ray Hopkins, said in a statement.

The short-lived blackout disrupted CBS-owned stations in 18 markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. It did not affect stations that are affiliated with CBS but are owned by other companies. All in all, about 2 million of Dish's 14 million households were briefly affected.

It was only the second time that TV stations owned by CBS have been blacked out. (The first blackout came last year in a dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable.)

The blackout was also noteworthy because CBS is the most-watched broadcast network in the United States. CBS had been running ads warning that Dish subscribers wouldn't be able to watch this weekend's NFL match-ups, but now that's no longer a concern.

Earlier: CBS warns that it might go dark on Dish Network

Saturday's announcement noted that Dish would disable its AutoHop functionality -- which lets some subscribers automatically skip all ads -- for CBS shows within seven days of their premieres. AutoHop has been a highly controversial feature in the television industry, sparking lawsuits and tense negotiations.

Eight channels owned by Turner Broadcasting, including CNN, the parent of this web site, were blacked out in Dish homes for about a month, beginning on October 21. The channels were restored on November 21, and the contract for the channels is now believed to expire in early 2015.


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