The threat of a blackout looms over an increasingly nasty carriage dispute between Dish Network and NBCUniversal. Deadline reports that one day after NBCU warned Dish subscribers that they may lose its cable and broadcast channels this weekend, Dish fired back with a breach-of-contract lawsuit against NBCU.
The suit accuses NBCU of violating the terms of a 2013 retransmission agreement between the two companies, and seeks arbitration in an attempt to head off a blackout.
In a statement today announcing the legal action, Dish said: “Under the conditions imposed by the FCC and Department of Justice in approving the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, NBC is forbidden from blacking out its networks if a pay-TV provider chooses, in its sole discretion, to exercise its right for binding arbitration. Regulators implemented these conditions to prevent Comcast and NBC from harming consumers and competition.”