CNN, HLN Dumped From Dish Network, Replaced With MSNBC Programs

October 22nd, 2014 8:32 PM

Just when the Cable News Network had actually gained ground in its ratings by picking up 555,000 viewers -- a rise of two percent -- in the third quarter of 2014, CNN has become one of the seven victims of a contract dispute between its parent company, Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting, and the Dish Network, which has 14 million subscribers.

Another news-related casualty of the dispute is HLN, which lost 352,000 viewers from July through September. Formerly known as Headline News, the network's viewership fell four percent during that period.

In an interesting twist, the CNN and HLN programs have been replaced with MSNBC content. That change might boost the low-rated liberal channel's standing while diminishing the audience of the two other networks.

As a result of Turner's “ all-or-nothing” proposal, Dish late Monday stopped carrying such other channels as Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, CNN en Espanol and the entertainment-oriented truTV.

However, Turner’s most popular networks -- TNT and TBS -- are not affected because they are part of a separate deal.

This is only the second time CNN has been blacked out. An earlier clash was actually a very minor dispute last year involving a half-million households with a small carrier. This is by far the biggest disruption for the news network.

Turner has been trying to receive higher per-subscriber fees where it can, but some of its networks have not seen enough growth to justify such rates.

According to an article by Steven Musill at, Turner – which licenses its channels for distribution to subscription services -- “pulled the channels from the Dish line-up” when its earlier deal with the satellite service “expired after the two companies were unable to negotiate renewed distribution terms.”

"In the past year, Dish has successfully renewed agreements with many large content providers," Warren Schlichting, the company's senior vice president of programming, said in a statement. "As a result, we are confident that we have offered a deal to Turner that reflects an appropriate value for our customers."

“Turner countered that it had already made concessions in negotiations and blamed Dish for the channels' removal.,” Musill noted.

"Turner has worked diligently for months to come to a fair agreement including multiple extensions and compromises, and it's unfortunate that Dish is once again operating in a disruptive manner that takes away networks and programming from their customers," the broadcasting company executives said in a statement.

"We are hopeful our counterparts will return to the negotiating table, and we'll get a deal completed," they added.

The situation drew fire from columnist John Nolte of the website, who declared: “News of this dispute is yet another reminder of what an immoral racket bundled cable/satellite is, and how these huge left-wing media companies jam their over-priced garbage down the throats of tens of millions of Americans.”

“Let's start with the math,” he stated:

Dish Network has 14 million of the estimated 100 million households CNN is currently available in. Although it is available in around 100 million households, only about a half-million people on average watch CNN; which is averages to about one-half of one percent.

My imperfect science and math indicates that only around 70,000 of the Dish Network's 14 million subscribers tune into CNN.

“How many of those 14 million Dish subscribers are paying for CNN even though they don't watch it?” Nolte asked. “Worse, how many millions is CNN making from Dish Network customers who don't watch but are forced to line CNN's pockets through these immoral bundled cable packages?”

“And you can see what Turner is doing here,” he continued. “The package is apparently an all-or-nothing of seven networks. If Dish wants to provide Turner Classic Movies and the Cartoon Network, it also has to provide five others, including losers like Headline News and CNN.”

Nolte stated: “This is why my wife and I once paid upwards of $70 a month for Dish -- which is obscene when you’re only watching a half-dozen of the dozens you’re forced to purchase just to get the ones you like.”

However, “until Netflix Streaming came along, this was pretty much the only option consumers had, and these left-wing multinationals bent us over and took full advantage” of it, he asserted.

Hopefully, the Dish Network carries the Fox News Channel so those who are no longer able to watch programs from CNN and HLN don't have to go from the frying pan into the fire by watching the obviously liberal “Lean Forward” MSNBC channel.