Dish Customers Could Ring In New Year With Fewer Channels

A showdown between Comcast and Dish Network may leave Dish viewers without Comcast-owned channels E! and Style Saturday, as licensing agreements are set to expire.

Deadline reports the two channels alerted viewers that their channels could go dark on Dish at midnight. Here’s the statement:

We are in active negotiations with DISH Network. We are trying to reach a fair agreement, however, it is our belief they will once again turn their backs on their subscribers by dropping the networks and holding E! and Style fans hostage. In actively choosing to discontinue these two networks, Dish is denying their subscribers E!, the ultimate network for entertainment fans with marquee January events from exclusive coverage of Red Carpet season to the premiere of the new season of the Kardashian show Kourtney & Kim Take NY, and Style, the home of transformations, from fashion, to beauty to home, featuring all-new seasons of Kimora and Jerseylicious.

Deadline also reports DirecTV may drop Comcast’s Golf Channel at midnight.

If you are a Dish or DirecTV customer, what would it mean to you to lose these channels?

Comcast’s E! and Style Face Blackout On Dish Network In Carriage Dispute [Deadline]


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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    All those shows sounded terrible. If I had DISH I would be cheering.

    • tbax929 says:

      I like Chelsea Handler, whose show is on E! I don’t watch it regularly, but I’ll tune in if someone I like is going to be a guest.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      Indeed. No major loss for me. As far as I’m concerned, take the loss and I’ll take the $1 or so (give or take) discount off my bill for the two lost channels.

      However, people may want to look to this as an example of what Comcast could do with NBC networks such as USA and SyFy.

      I wonder if Dish will get rid of G4 while they’re at it. It’s not even worth being called a shadow of it’s former self. Now it’s nothing but Cops, Campus PD, Ninja Warrior dubs, and American Ninja Warrior – though mostly Cops.

      • Silverhawk says:

        Oh, were you expecting your rates to go down as a result of not having those channels? Guess again!

        • sphenodont says:

          I’m on a legacy plan with Dish, but in the past when there’s been a contract dispute, they substitute another channel for the “lost” ones. And really, pretty much anything would be better than E! or Style.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I was at a friends this past week back home and he has Direct. I am glad that I have Dish and I think the programming is much better.

  2. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I am a Dish customer. No E! or Style? Oh dear. What a calamity. What shall I do? What shall I do?

  3. TimothyT says:

    I may switch to Dish so there will be no chance I will accidentally stumble upon those channels.

  4. partofme says:

    I don’t care about E! or Style… but to anyone who says Comcast won’t play hardball with their future NBC acquisitions, let this be a lesson.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      You don’t care about E!? OMG. Now you won’t be able to know when Jennifer Aniston poops or Snooki’s herpes sores heal. Come on! It’s on E!

  5. davidsco says:

    and the fun continues. MORE reason why control should be taken OUT of the hands of the scumbag cable companies, and the NBC merger should NOT be approved

  6. evilpete says:

    I already have those channels block, I did it myself on my TV.

  7. ReaperRob says:

    What’s next, no USA and Syfy?

  8. evilpete says:

    Maybe Comcast is doing this now so that after the merger they can claim such actions are standard policy

  9. lunasdude says:

    In the “Ironic” department, haven’t cable company’s been fighting the very same thing with the networks over fees and now that Comcast is in the drivers seat it’s all VERY DIFFERENT now? hmmmm…

  10. Jimmy says:

    There needs to be some kind of standardization for these things. Maybe some kind of pricing that’s dependent on ratings. It shouldn’t matter whether its done by the network themselves or it’s parent company. We can’t be selective on who’s the bad guy. The road to programming equality should start with the NFL.

  11. Johnny Longtorso says:

    No, not the Golf Channel! Untold numbers of WASPs across the country will be devastated!

    • webweazel says:

      Meh. The Golf Channel can go away, but they better not ever take off the Watch Paint Dry or Watch Grass Grow channels! I would never want to miss any current episodes of my mostest favorite shows: “Blue Bathroom Wall” or the “Lawnmower Cam”.

  12. tbax929 says:

    I think some of you are missing the point. It’s not the specific channels that they may lose. Nor is it whether or not you like those particular channels. The issue is that this could happen and affect channels you do actually watch.

    I don’t have Dish, and I rarely watch either of those channels anyway. However, I worry about this happening with a channel I watch often, such as HGTV, ESPN, or AMC.

  13. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    And nothing of value was lost…

  14. AllanG54 says:

    Does anyone actually watch those channels? Hell, if Cablevision got rid of them I don’t think I’d even notice.

  15. vdragonmpc says:

    Yeah Comcast thanks jerks. Pay attention closer to the messages. WWBT 12 (NBC) is going to be dropped in 2011

    There is a rolling message on the bottom stating the same thing about ‘negotiations’. Yeah right. Doesnt the network broadcast for freaking free? I really REALLY want la carte access. I wouldnt have the tripe on my line up at all. I think I could roll my channels below 30 and with netflix maybe down to 10

    • Mike Zeidler says:

      The networks *do* broadcast for “free”, but cable companies are (or were) forced to carry them. I think that has changed in recent years, and now station owners are getting greedy and demanding increases in carriage fees, mainly because the networks (CBS, NBC & ABC) used to buy the time they filled, but are now charging affiliates for the content provided instead. It all comes down to the lovely “free market” where everyone is trying to please shareholders while screwing over consumers.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        There is no free market in pay-TV. Too few providers all working the same way, forced bundles and no way to customize your service forces consumers to subsidize ridiculous numbers of channels that have no right to exist.

        If it was a free market, you would only have to pay for the channels you wanted…and if it was a free market, all those crappy ass channels would have died long ago. Paid-for TV is not a capitalistic marketplace…it’s rather socialized. We need it to become a capital market.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      If it was a really free market, then if your local NBC affiliate was asking too much for the channel, then the cable company could cut a deal with another city’s NBC affiliate and carry their feed. They can’t, though. If Comcast (or DISH, or DirecTV, or FiOS) wants to carry, say, ABC in Chicago, they can ONLY negotiate with WLS. Period.

  16. Mike Zeidler says:

    If this happened on every provider, the world may be a better place. E! is probably the absolute worst channel in existence.

    • vdragonmpc says:

      But whatever would we have done with out the Anna Nicole show and Kim KarASSian? I mean all these ‘E’ celebs are important and contribute so much right….


  17. SG-Cleve says:

    These channels make their money by selling commercials.

    Now they want extra money straight out of my wallet.

    Try selling commercials when you’re off the air, you greedy b*stards!!

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Wow…if you could prevent E! and Style from showing up on my TV…you just might be my new BFF.

  19. Starfury says:

    I have Dish…and don’t watch either of those channels so they wouldn’t be missed.

  20. balthisar says:

    Dish customer here. Those channels are already erased from the receiver, and they won’t be missed.

  21. oldwiz65 says:

    This is what’s going to happen more and more after the NBC/Comcast merger. Other cable networks will lose access to NBC programming after the merged company triples the charges to carry the channels. I don’t have Dish – there’s lousy reception around here and the cost is way too high.

  22. psm321 says:

    Now let’s throw a national broadcast network (NBC) into the Comcast ownership mix! /sarcasm
    We need laws that prevent content distributors from also being content owners/producers… too much conflict of interest.

  23. VeganPixels says:

    And nothing of value was lost.

  24. Woodside Park Bob says:

    Dish should post their own crawl across the bottom of those channels saying how much more Comcast wants to charge for them…..

    Of course cable companies and satellite tv companies should be prohibited from owning any content that they transmit to their subscribers. Want to bet that Comcast is charging itself more for those two channels, too, and then passing the increase along to their cable subscribers, claiming that they have to raise the cost of cable tv because the content providers are charging them more. I hate to think how much more they will increase rates once they own NBC and can pass along higher charges for NBC’s channels to their customers too while pocketing the all the profit.

  25. glp1233 says:

    Wait, “Jerseylicious” is still on? I thought that injunction was still in effect.

  26. Riroon13 says:

    It’s just the next episode in the urinary olympics. I expect to be watching The Soup (ONLY show on either channel worth watching) again in two weeks or so.

    FWIW, this is why I love Dish — the fact that they at least appear to be looking out for the customers. Every 3-4 months, they go through the song-n-dance with the networks, we see threats and posturing and maybe a week or two of blackouts.

    At least my TV provider isn’t going ‘ah screw it, we’ll just add it to the customer’s bill.’ It’s a much-appreciated trait that has kept this customer long-term for around a decade, if not more.

  27. Not Given says:

    I want to ask people who have Dish and pay with a check in the mail a question (if such a person exists.) My MIL has Dish and her bill is dated on the 15th of the month, payment is due by the 26th, I think. In November the bill was received on the 19th, the check was mailed the next day, December’s bill was not received until the 22nd, payment was mailed the next day. Both months her TV was cut off for a little while. Her bank statements consistently show her check electronically withdrawn anytime between the 28th and the 2nd of the following month. Does anyone else have this problem? It’s got her hopping mad and she’s a little old lady with high blood pressure. She also does not own a computer and doesn’t even have a debit card for her checking account. Is Direct TV any better?

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      That sucks but no, no issue here. I pay with a cc but my monthly charge for Dish is the only balance. I wouldn’t be surprised that companies are going to faze out cashing checks for paying bills one day and maybe this “department” is becoming obsolete at Dish? Would this affect customer’s? Maybe.

    • perruptor says:

      I have Dish and pay by check, but have never encountered the problem you describe. I’m also not always prompt with mailing in the payment. They just add it to the next bill. Is your MIL still on the initial contract? Mine expired a couple of years ago. Maybe that’s why they are lenient with me – they’re afraid I’ll cancel the service if they aren’t.

  28. gman863 says:

    Dropping E and Style? If DirecTV dumped them I would consider it a plus.

    Some things Comcast and local channels might want to think about going into 2011 and the NBC merger, however:

    * When a provider drops a channel, the channel loses ratings and ad revenue. E and Style are not CNN or ESPN; the loss of ad revenue will likely be greater than not getting a bump in the subscription fees.

    * Note to local stations: Network TV shows can be streamed online. Indoor antennas are cheap. As for your biggest source of revenue – local news – most people will simply watch a different channel. Drop cable or satellite transmission and your ratings will crash and burn faster than the Hindenburg.

    * Comcast: Net Neutrality means you can’t favor your feeds over Vudu, Hulu, Media Center, etc. Every time one of your subscribers streams a show online it puts more pressure on your ISP network. Given the number of people like myself who resort to this when you kill a channel off Dish or DirecTV, you’re playing with fire on maxing out your available bandwidth.

  29. Elphaba says:

    It will make me exercise my husband’s right (utilizing his POA) under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act to get out of our contract with Dish and get service from another provider. My husband is currently deployed. This may sound stupid but “Kendra” is one of my favorite programs and I’m not forking out $60 a month to not have Kendra.

  30. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    if I had either it would mean less bullshit to watch ;)

  31. maynurd says:

    E!, Style Saturday, a golf channel….. What a loss. Three crap channels I would never watch anyway.

  32. diagoro says:

    Why is it that this type of story appears about once a month now???? Is it that channels have found a new way to hold the sat/cable companies hostage, or is it the sat/cable companies just refusing to deal fairly?

    Regardless of the channels that are lost, it’s a disturbing trend that can only get worse. But in the end, it’s always the subscribers that are getting screwed here….

  33. DanKelley98 says:

    Apparently Comcast (or “E!”) doesn’t want Dish customers seeing the stupid advertising of their advertising clients. Honestly, this programming ain’t worth too much.

    A happy Dish Network subscriber! (now if Dish could only bring ME-TV to my television….)

  34. FS1 says:

    No E! or Style?
    Yes, please! Hey Dish – feel free to tell Comcast they can have their channels. No need for any negotiating. Pull the plug.

  35. cecilsaxon says:

    I have Dish and I can’t remember watching these channels. Dish can complete the deal by lowering my rates.

  36. skywatchbob says:

    E! and Style….worthless. If I had Dish it wouldn’t bother me. Also, G4 lost its worthiness. It can go too. Problem is if Comcast buys NBC they will own more significant channels which would put them at an unfair advantage in these negotiations.

  37. psychocatlady says:

    No E? No Style? No Golf? Well, I just might switch over from the thieving cable company to Dish now that I don’t have to worry about scanning through those channels! Yay!

  38. Senator says:

    I hope they stop showing E! and Style channels.

  39. human_shield says:

    Whatever will we do without TV shows of people arguing and repainting their bedrooms.

  40. PupJet says:

    The problem is this, and as corny as it is going to sound:

    Less channels – same amount of money being forked out every month. I’m sorry, but I pay for my 120+ channels, I damned well better get them. NOW if they would get rid of all those crap advertising channels and put the music channels back in the 900+ blocks, I’d be happy.

    Oh, did you know there is a program lineup for “The Best Bra Ever!” on one of the channels? I mean seriously, I pay $60/month for 120+ channels and get crap. I’m contemplating dropping Dish and just going Netflix. Good thing I’m out of contract with them already. ;) Let’s see what those wicked bastards wanna pull with me. :)

  41. xamarshahx says:

    i say keep fighting against comcast, i got ur back Dish!

  42. joshua70448 says:

    There’s only one show on one of these channels that I would miss watching if they got dropped: The Soup on E!. Funny stuff right there.

  43. QuantumRiff says:

    You know.. I always thought these channels made money by running ads.. That they got some, and the local broadcast network got some, and everyone made money. That was what payed for TV. Then cable came around, and promised that since you were paying, there would be almost no adds (like HBO).. now, we have ads, and huge annual increases in costs to watch more commercials?

  44. Horselady says:

    Please, Please remove some of the useless channels!!!

    Please remove th 90 I don’t watch,
    and only charge me for the 10 I do…..

  45. dolemite says:

    I could only hope those channels would be dropped, as the wife loves watching that nonsense.

  46. AliciaB_DISH Network says:

    Hi, this is Alicia Brink. I’m with the Executive Offices of DISH Network. I understand your frustration. I can assure you we are doing everything we can to get the channel back for you. We understand that when you love a channel you do not want to lose it, especially if you are not compensated for it, however keep in mind the reason we are in the dispute over pricing is on your behalf. Instead of just agreeing to their request to increase cost by sometimes up to 50%, we fight for our customers so they do not have to. We know that some customers may want to pay more and keep this channel but keep in mind it would raise every ones cost not just those who want it to. Also keep in mind that if we did not fight to keep prices low that sometimes this would cause your price to increase for a channel that you do not watch. The reason we can provide the lowest cost for our customers is by standing up for their rights against high price increases. Although this negotiation has been resolved, keep in mind if you lose any channels due to a dispute, I assure you, you will still have the amount of channels you subscribed to. So if you subscribe to Americas Top 200 you will still get over 200 channels even without these. If you have any other questions please let us know.