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What You Need To Know About Dish Network's Dispute With HBO

What You Need To Know About Dish Network's Dispute With HBO

As part of an ongoing dispute between DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ: DISH) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), AT&T made an "unprecedented move" to pull HBO and Cinemax content from Dish and Sling TV subscribers.

What Happened

Dish said AT&T, the new parent company of HBO and its sister channel Cinemax, is making "untenable demands" with the intent of harming customers, especially in rural areas as well as damaging competing pay-tv providers. The company also said the merger of HBO with AT&T has given the new entity "immense power over consumers," which puts it in a better position to implement a strategy of shutting off its new content from other distributors.

In a statement to Benzinga, HBO said the company boasts a 40-year track record of reaching agreements with distributors. The statement said Dish is making it "extremely difficult" and is responding to the company's good faith attempts with Dish's "unreasonable terms."

"Past behavior shows that removing services from their customers is becoming all too common a negotiating tactic for them," HBO said.

Why It's Important

Dish boasts a track record of its own in that it has shown a willingness to drop channels during contract disputes, The Wall Street Journal reported. Dish has dropped Fox News, CBS and local TV stations amid contract disputes. The two sides ultimately struck new agreements and service resumed.

Dish said in a press release it's open to a "baseball-style arbitration" process to determine a fair market value of HBO and Cinemax. During this process, however, AT&T would need to restore its channels to Dish's customers.

On its end, HBO said customers should "take advantage of the other ways" to access HBO's shows.

Related Links:

AT&T Trades Down After Mixed Q3 Print, Analyst Says Telecom Has 'Many Plates Spinning In The Air'

Guggenheim: Meaningful Upside In Dish Shares Exists For Long-Term Investors

Photo credit: Manuel Martin, Flickr


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