DISH Network - what are they blocking with those black blocks?

Mods, I couldn’t make up my mind what forum this belongs in. I thought more TV watchers would be in Cafe Society, so I put it here, but feel free to move it if I err.

Has anyone else noticed? We get DISH Network, and during the past couple of days, you will occasionally see a message start to scroll across the bottom: “Attention DISH Network customers - did you know you will stop receiving these channels . . .”, and then almost immediately a black block will pop up to conceal the message. What’s going on?

Apparently, BET, Nick, MTV, and some other channels are about to become pay channels or be taken away from Dish Network and ECHO customers. I have cable, and just started seeing the message yesterday. The message gives an 800 number that customers can call and complain to.

Viacom the one that owns CBS comedy channel and others wants more money and dish network will have to drop Viacom channels from its line up i think Monday unless a agreement is made so Viacom is trying to pressure dish network subscribers to contact dishnetwork to complain that they are going to loose channels by putting a message on the bottom of the screen

So in other words, Viacom is running a message across the screen to tell DISH subscribers (and everyone else, coincidentally) that they’ll be losing these channels soon, but the DISH network is employing its own technology to block these messages.

I smell a lawsuit, besides the ones they’ve already had.

Thank goodness someone saw that besides me. I thought i was losing it. Well I would pay more because basically I only watch the comedy central, fuse and the history channel. That would be killing my number one channel.

REALLY?? What kind of lawsuit is your nose detecting? Who’s suing who & for what, in your scenario?

Via google, I see that this has gotten little/no play in the press, so I’m skeptical that the threatened blackout will happen. I guess we’ll see what the morning brings.

OTOH, I am going to be very upset if all the Viacomm stations depart my Dish tomorrow morning. Dish had a dispute with one of my local network affiliates - KRON- last year, and I had no feed from that network for nine months.

I am not going to put up with losing Nick and UPN for a long period. I hate my local cable company, but I’ll ditch my Dish PVR and get a Tivo and cable before I’ll sit through another schoolyard fight among these petty info-monopolies.

Thanks for the replies, guys. I was going to check this morning and see if we lost Nickelodeon or UPN, but I forgot. I’ll look tonight.

And if you call Dish you can get a phone number to call the president of CBS.

Viacom wants Dish to pay more to carry the channels. Dish feels the cost would be excessive, something they would have to pass on to their consumers.

There’s really nothing consumers can do to influence this one way or another. It’s up to the big guys to sort it out.

Just got this off the Dish Network website:

Stations owned by Viacom have proposed excessive rate increases we feel are unreasonable. We always strive to control costs on behalf of our customers. We continue to work tirelessly to negotiate with Viacom so you do not lose your channels.
If you desire to continue to receive your channels and would like to speak with the President and General Manager of KCBS, please contact Don Corsini at (323)460-3000.

Just switch to DirecTV

Just how much more is Viacom asking per channel anyway? Or for that matter, how do any of the networks charge per channel?

What’s actually surprising is how sympathetic Viacom comes off to those who don’t have any insight into the situation.

Since their channels each have one feed that goes to every provider (including Dish Network, DirecTv, and every cable company), those “Call Dish to keep from losing this channel!” messages went out to every viewer. It was only Dish Network who blocked them, although the other providers have to be mightily peeved at Viacom for this visual pollution.

The dispute isn’t whether to make the Viacom channels pay-per-view or on their own tier (like you’d order HBO). Viacom won’t stand for that, period, end of story, and that won’t happen without governmental intervention. They want Dish Network (aka Echostar) to pay them an increase of X dollars per subscriber per year, and also add a channel called Nick Toons to their lineup. (Remember, satellite bandwidth is limited, so it’s not an issue of flipping a switch and saying “OK, here’s space for your channel!”)

So consider this, all cable and satellite customers: Viacom wants to continue to be paid on a per-subscriber basis. Nothing OOTO here, other content providers do the same thing. But this isn’t the same as being paid on a per-viewer basis. You’re paying for Viacom’s fee increase, even if you never watch any of there channels. Same goes for ESPN/Disney–your cable or satellite bill goes towards those networks’ contracts with the NFL, MLB, NHL, etc., EVEN IF YOU HATE SPORTS AND DON’T EVER WATCH THEM. Wonder how it is that athletes’ contracts keep rising in value? Because they’re getting revenue from your household.

So if Viacom gets an additional $2 a month from Dish Network, your bill goes up $2. If it goes up $5, your bill goes up $5 . . . you get the idea.

But don’t be smug (like BurnMeUp) if you don’t have Dish Network. Their competitors, DirecTV and the cable industry, stand to benefit short-term from Dish’s problem. But secretly they’re cheering Dish Network, and they’re hoping to break the influence these large corporations have over their channel lineup. If not, you can expect to see your cable or satellite bill continue to rise for the foreseeable future, regardless of your provider.

Really, the only way out of this cycle is for “a la carte” programming, where you choose only the channels you want. Since content providers will never agree to this, you won’t see it without the government getting involved.

The blackout will happen at midnight PST, tonight, Monday. If an agreement is reached, it will only be because Dish won this staredown contest.

Other things to consider: An admittedly unscientific poll of DishNetwork subscribers here says overwhelmingly, “Screw Viacom!”

Plus, if you could ever consider a multi-billion dollar corporation “the little guy”, it would be Echostar under Charlie Ergen. Unlike DirecTV (Fox), he doesn’t have a content provider under his corporate umbrella. But he has chosen to offer several consumer-friendly features on his PVR products that DirecTV can’t be bothered with. For example, soon all users with his 921 HDTV PVR will be able to archive recordings via firewire; very important when you realize how much disk space one HDTV show takes up. DirecTV will not offer that with their TiVo. Also, DirecTV is contemplating removing the 30-second skip ahead button from their TiVo, so you have to watch the commercials. And DirecTV will be tracking viewers’ usage habits with new software from Nielson.

The content providers have shifted to an increasingly anti-consumer business model, which also threatens your “fair use” rights allowing you to record shows and watch them later. They say this is because the shows would end up on the internet; realistically, it’s because they depend on ad revenue to subsidize their free-of-charge usage of the public airwaves.

If you have cable or satellite TV, you need to be watching this little pissing war very closely.

Permit me a moment to say, step off a moment there Cochise. Who are you calling smug? I happened to offer a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem. The OP was mentioning the headaches with Dish Network. I mentioned a competitor of thiers who I am perfectly happy with and who as yet, does not have the same problem.

I suppose if offering a viable, simple solution (versus, say suggesting a complete revamp of the cable/dish marketing system which, although a good idea, is not under our control and will not be miraculously provided to people by paying the existing higher bills or suffering through the loss of channels) is being smug then so be it. But frankly I take offense to your categorization of me and my opinions.

BurnMeUp:You’re correct, consider this an apology for my inappropriate characterization of your suggestion, which is indeed a viable alternative for those who need a resolution to this issue. (Although in practical terms it is unlikely that a viewer could get an installation scheduled and implemented in the likely amount of time this dispute will take to get resolved.)

On some other forums devoted to home theater (my professional concern), the whole DishNetwork/DirecTV debate takes on the aroma of a tawdry religious war. Just look at any political thread in Great Debates here and you get an idea of the general tone that I inferred from your post. Again, my apologies.

Apology accepted. I know some people have a rabid preference for one system over the other. I just happened to have one system and it hasn’t caused me these issues is all. Were it the reverse i’d be hopping to Dish Network :slight_smile:

I’ve never seen that myself. But as someone who started with Dish Network (I was quite happy with the service but had continued hardware problems) and has moved to DirecTV, I’m glad I made the move. The channels and price all seem in line and mostly the same, but I do prefer the hardware of DirecTV better.

I’ll take either myself… as long as I NEVER have to use standard cable.

Well it happened, this shouldn’t be legal at all. I didn’t think that either side would actually let it come to this, I’m insulted, pissed, angry, and on and on.

Yup, a quick scan this morning shows we’re missing at least Comedy Channel, the bay area’s local KPIX station, and Nickelodeon. With no Nick, Mr. Pug will miss his Roseanne reruns and I’ll miss news anchor John Kessler on KPIX. Funny, he was the morning news anchor on KRON when KRON got axed in the last cable war.

You may, however, watch a recording of DISH personnel delivering their spiel of grievance on any of these off-air channels.

In other news, can we somehow get these messages BLOCKED for regular cable customers like me? Christ, I could do without the scrolling message bar at the bottom of the screen every 10 farking minutes, thanks.