The chairman of Dish Network, Charlie Ergen, told investors Tuesday that the satellite TV provider’s contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting, which led to CNN and seven other networks being pulled from the service last month, might also lead to the loss of TNT and TBS later this month, reports Variety.
“When we do take something down, as a company, we’re prepared to take it down for good,” Ergen said on a conference call to discuss the company’s earnings.
Dish is carrying TBS and TNT now, but Ergen noted, “We have to be prepared that those channels will come down as well.” He added, “We have a responsibility to our shareholders to not do stupid deals.”
Variety notes: “The comments from the notoriously combative Dish exec may be aimed at trying to get leverage in cutting a better deal with Turner — a take-it-or-leave-it tactic Ergen has used before. Dish has dropped several regional sports networks over the last several years, including Comcast SportsNet New England this August, but has not yet made the decision to cut out a major national cable network.”
Turner declined to comment, the story notes.
As we reported previously, Dish pulled CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang from its lineup back on Oct. 21.