Satellite TV provider Dish Network has a long history of contract battles with broadcasters that don’t get resolved until those networks temporarily go dark on subscribers’ screens. Dish is currently sparring with CBS in such a spat over the terms of a new deal.
Now, in a bid to move things along, Variety reports that Dish is apparently trying to get its subscribers in on the action by asking them to put pressure on local advertisers. The hope is that the marketers may in turn twist CBS’s arm to end the standoff that resulted in 28 local CBS stations in 18 markets disappearing from Dish on November 21:
The U.S.’s No. 2 satellite operator is encouraging customers affected by the blackout of CBS across the country on Dish to reach out to businesses that advertise on the broadcaster’s local stations ‘to let them know you need their help getting CBS to end this dispute.’
These contract disputes happen often enough that Dish has a web page that explains why they happen, and what customers can do to help get their favorite stations back. “When channel disputes occur, Dish is acting as an advocate on your behalf to negotiate the best deal possible,” it states.
Here’s a little history of other recent Dish disputes with broadcast networks, including a previous standoff with CBS:
2014: Dish vs. CBS
2014: Dish vs. CNN