CBS is warning its viewers that 14 network-owned stations may be dropped by Dish Network when their carriage deal expires this Thursday.
"While CBS has been able to reach agreement with all other major carriers of our stations, we are finding it difficult to reach agreement with Dish," a statement on the Keep CBS website reads.
The site asks viewers to complain directly to Dish by phone, e-mail and social media to ensure that the stations in more than a dozen major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago, don't go dark.
According to Deadline, Dish says that "only CBS can force a blackout of its channels" and they are still "actively working" on a deal. "We are unsure why CBS decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal."
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen added that CBS' new streaming service, CBS All Access, "makes that product less interesting" for distributors, but that its content creation makes them "a valued partner."
When it comes to negotiation disputes, both Dish and CBS have a history of stubbornness. Dish is currently embroiled in a battle with Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, resulting in CNN, Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network being dropped from the service.
CBS also clashed with Time Warner last year, when they launched an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable holding CBS shows "hostage" when the two failed to negotiate a programming deal.
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