Dish said that CBS All Access -- the broadcaster’s direct-to-consumer offering -- is "playing a significant role in the standoff threatening to deprive" viewers of CBS' Thanksgiving Day broadcast of Chargers-Cowboys, according to Alex Silverman of CABLEFAX DAILY. Amid the carriage dispute between the two, Dish Exec VP/Marketing, Programming & Media Sales Warren Schlichting said the satellite provider “would like to sell All Access” to its customers. But such an arrangement is a "non-starter for CBS." Silverman writes it is an "interesting contention given that only a few scripted shows, such as 'Star Trek: Discovery,' are exclusive to All Access, while all of CBS’ sporting events and primetime shows are available on the broadcast net." Still, it "raises questions about whether direct-to-consumer offerings are going to add another wrinkle" to carriage talks going forward. Both parties in the dispute are "encouraging consumers to sign up for All Access as an alternative way to maintain access to CBS content, including Thursday’s Cowboys-Chargers game" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 11/22).
BREAKING IT DOWN: In L.A., Meg James writes the companies' previous carriage contract expired on Tuesday at 2:00am ET, "leaving Dish without authorization to retransmit the signals of CBS stations." The two sides had been "trying to hammer out a new contract since January with little progress." Schlichting said, "We thought we were making good progress. But then late (Monday) night, CBS stopped talking and wouldn’t accept our offer for an extension." Dish "immediately struck back, offering to install an over-the-air antenna for most customers affected by the outage so they could continue to receive CBS." The satellite TV provider also "promised to reduce subscribers’ bills by $10 per month if they agreed to drop the local TV stations from their lineup" (L.A. TIMES, 11/22). In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes it is "not uncommon for cable, satellite and other pay-TV providers to try to hold the line on retransmission fees in negotiations with the broadcasters and networks whose content they distribute." Increased costs are "passed on to subscribers to preserve margins and may factor in consumer pushback." But the networks "counter that top-flight college and pro sports, drama, comedy, talk and news cost money to produce" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/22).