Thanksgiving football’s coming, but CBS and Dish Network still ‘far apart’ on blackout

CBS and Dish Network don’t appear to be any closer to making a deal to end a blackout of CBS for Dish customers, even with Thanksgiving — and the traditional holiday NFL game on CBS — quickly approaching.

“We obviously want to strike a fair deal with Dish as soon as possible — but we remain far apart on terms,” CBS said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tuesday morning, local stations owned by CBS went dark on Dish Network’s satellite system. The network warned Dish customers Monday that if a deal could not be struck they would lose out on CBS’ NFL and college football games over the long holiday weekend.

The blackout is the result of a carriage fight between the two companies and impacts subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and other major markets. Dish says more than 2 million customers nationwide are impacted by the blackout.

CBS said Wednesday that “As it stands, Dish customers won’t be watching CBS in the days and weeks ahead.” that may be true, though it could also be public posturing — these types of disputes are sometimes resolved in hours or days.

CBS also noted that observers of these disputes “are rarely interested in the arguments of either party,” but made the point that CBS hasn’t been pulled off the air by any distributor since its last deal with Dish expired in 2014.

Dish responded Wednesday by saying that “CBS blacked out its own viewers” and is “threatening families this Thanksgiving and to drag this out for weeks would be a punishment solely at the hand of CBS.”

“It was their choice, and at this hour we continue to wait for CBS to respond to our latest offer which we gave them before they chose to black out their channels,” the company said in a statement. “The channels could come back today if CBS would allow it. We stand ready to negotiate and restore the channels immediately. On behalf of customers, we ask CBS to stop punishing its own viewers.”