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So much for that blackout: CBS and Dish announced a new multiyear distribution deal Saturday that brings the broadcaster’s programming back to the satellite TV operator. The agreement comes just hours after CBS as well as cable networks like Showtime and the CBS Sports Network went dark on Dish in 14 markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
The two companies didn’t reveal how much Dish has to pay CBS going forward, but they did announce a few other details of the deal: Dish customers will have access to Showtime Anytime, the TV Everywhere service that allows them to stream Showtime content to mobile and connected devices. Dish is also putting some significant restrictions on its controversial Hopper DVR, effectively disabling automatic ad skipping for the first week after a show aired on CBS. In return, CBS is dropping its lawsuit against the Hopper.
Notably absent from the agreement are any rights to include CBS in Dish’s upcoming Nutv streaming service, which aims to target cord cutters with a cheaper and smaller programming bundle. Dish previously won the rights to include Disney’s ABC network in the service, but it now looks like Nutv will come without CBS content when it launches in the coming weeks.
However, both parties apparently left the door open to add at least some CBS content to the service down the line. The agreement “includes a path to over-the-top distribution of Showtime Networks,” according to a joint press release.
Leading up to the agreement, Dish tried to blame the long and difficult negotiations on the high costs of the CBS Sports network. But this outcome suggests that internet rights were as much of an issue, and that CBS eventually had the upper hand, forcing Dish to give in before this weekend’s football games.