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NBC sports channels may go dark on Dish due to price spikes

A field service specialist for Dish Network prepares to install a satellite television system at a residence in Denver.
Matthew Staver | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A field service specialist for Dish Network prepares to install a satellite television system at a residence in Denver.

As media giants like Turner Broadcasting and Comcast raise fees on pay-TV providers that carry their programming, satellite-TV provider Dish Network is pushing back by blacking out several channels, according to one report.

Due to the ongoing fee dispute, Comcast (the parent of CNBC) warned that its NBCUniversal regional sports networks may be dropped by Dish in several markets including Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., according to The Wall Street Journal. NBC said Dish may drop the channels when the companies' distribution contract expires in early December, the report added.

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NBC Sports is asking for a 20 percent price increase for 90 percent of Dish customers although "only a small fraction of those consumers actually watch the channels," a Dish spokesman said in a statement to the Journal. He added that NBC's "heavy-handed tactic is troubling given Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable that would allow it to exercise even more power to leverage programming content in anti-competitive ways."

In October, the disagreements on programming fees led Dish to drop several Turner channels including CNN, CNN Espanol, HLN, Cartoon Network. Turner is a division of Time Warner.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said earlier this month he expects TV providers to offer different groups of channels in the future, instead of all of them carrying the same list of channels, the Journal reported.

Read the coverage on The Wall Street Journal.

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