Dish Network and Comcast SportsNet Chicago have struck down a short-term contract extension agreement in order to avert a possible blackout affecting 342,000 subscribers of the sports channel in Chicago.
CSN executives on Tuesday confirmed the news of the agreement while declining to furnish other details.
The Colorado-based satellite provider and the regional sports network have been embroiled into a major dispute over the issue of carriage license fees, with Dish balking at a rise demanded by CSN. The agreement was expiring at midnight Monday, and hence they extended the contract for a short-term period.
The dispute also involves CSN Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland), CSN California (Northern California and parts of Oregon and Nevada), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington and Baltimore area) and all of which will remain on Dish presently.
Sources familiar with the development said that NBCUniversal has sought a 10 percent hike across the four markets. But Dish has pegged the proposed surge at closer to 40 percent.
After being acquired by Comcast in 2013, NBCUniversal started operating the regional sports networks.
CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks, slate of Bulls, Cubs games, White Sox and its other sports programming is at stake. Dish, on the other hand, has over 342,000 subscribers in the Chicago area, who would be affected due to the possible blackout.
Last week, CSN began an on-air campaign cautioning the viewers of a looming blackout, while trying to procure their support in negotiations with Dish.
CSN on Monday said that it had received thousands of calls, website visits, emails, tweets and petitions in support of its programming.