Variety, TVWeek

HBO vs. Dish: Charlie Ergen, Dish’s Chaiman, Accuses AT&T of Using HBO as an ‘Economic Weapon’

Nov 7, 2018  •  Post A Comment

In the midst of a nasty carriage battle between Dish and HBO, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen had harsh words for AT&T.

Variety reports that Ergen “blasted AT&T for demanding unreasonable terms from the pay-TV distributor for HBO, saying the telco is insisting Dish pay for a minimum number of subscribers to the premium cabler whether or not that number of Dish customers actually take HBO.”

As we reported last week, HBO pulled its channels, including Cinemax, from the Dish and Sling TV lineups on Oct. 31, marking the first time HBO had gone dark on a major distributor in its 40-plus-year history.

“Ergen said AT&T is using HBO as an ‘economic weapon’ to try to extract more money from Dish,” Variety reports, quoting Ergen, speaking during Dish’s third-quarter 2018 earnings call today, saying: “This is purely an anti-competitive play that we tried to warn about,” a reference to the Justice Department’s antitrust case seeking to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

He added: “We can’t sign a deal [under which] we would actually pay for [AT&T’s] customers — and that’s what it would be.”


  1. They both, At&t and Charlie Ergen, are both equally evil weapons.

  2. It would be nice if Dish would provide updates on HBO status. There has been nothing since November.
    Talk about customer service!!

  3. We are considering a change of TV service since we miss HBO. There are probably 25 stations (children’s programs, foreign language channels, and various others) could be dropped to make way for HBO.

  4. I ended up purchasing HBO NOW because of the black out and will make the owners of the household switch company’s if this dispute has not come to an end by the time their contract is up

  5. We have been loyal Dish customers for many years but I am very disappointed with this stand off. I am so looking forward to Game of Thrones that I will drop dish and go to Direct TV if you guys cannot get this settled by the time it is to be aired. This is just not good customer service.

  6. I agree with previous post. We are leaving Dish, customer service is a joke. They are using customers as pawns in this money grab.

  7. I don’t watch HBO so could care less about them. However, I wrote DISH a letter about a month ago I would be dropping them in the next few months as my sub division is finally getting fiber optics installed. I am tired of:
    1. High salaries.
    2. Channels I never watch yet have to pay for them.
    3. Fake news and having to support them.
    4. 1/3rd air time nothing but commercials.
    5. I own my own equipment yet have to pay for a maintenance contract.
    6. I have 6 TVs in 6 rooms and only 2 people in the household yet I have to pay for 6 hookups.

    As soon as the fiber optics is up and running, I’m GONE! (I live out in the country and don’t have many options. That will be changing soon. Bye the way, DISH never responded to my warning about leaving them.

  8. Oh ya, I forgot. I am tired of countless endless RE-RUNS too!

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