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After NBC Threatens Blackout, DISH Sues For Breach Of Contract

After NBC Threatens Blackout, DISH Sues For Breach Of Contract
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NBC on Monday launched a campaign aimed at informing the public about its dispute with DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ: DISH). The company released TV commercials, social media alerts, radio spots, text crawls during its shows and a website,

"Dish says customers can 'watch everything,'" the ad stated. "Everything except your favorite shows. The Voice, WWE Raw, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Magicians, Squawk Box and Hardball with Chris Matthews may all disappear if they drop networks from your channel line-up," the company said, exhorting viewers to demand Dish to keep these shows running.

If Dish does not reach a new carriage contract with NBC, the satellite TV provider’s customers will see a blackout of NBC-owned TV stations and some of NBC Universal's cable channels. This would mean that Dish would lose 26 television stations owned by NBC, 10 NBC stations and 16 Telemundo stations, in addition to other NBC Universal channels like USA Network, Bravo, Syfy, MSNBC and CNBC.

Dish on Tuesday filed a breach of contract lawsuit against NBC, arguing that “NBC's public statements against DISH over the past 24 hours are in violation of the contract between the two companies.” However, Dish “currently expects to file for arbitration, which would prevent NBC from blacking out DISH customers."

The statement then went into the Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA)-NBCUniversal merger.

“Under the conditions imposed by the FCC and Department of Justice in approving the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, NBC is forbidden from blacking out its networks if a pay-TV provider chooses, in its sole discretion, to exercise its right for binding arbitration. Regulators implemented these conditions to prevent Comcast and NBC from harming consumers and competition,” the company explained. “In the event of arbitration, affected programming would remain available during that process, and for the foreseeable future.”

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

Posted-In: NBC nbcuniversalNews Legal Tech Media Best of Benzinga


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