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Dish Network Corporation and ViacomCBS have reached a new carriage agreement which keeps ViacomCBS-related channels not only on Dish, but also Sling TV. This brings a period of uncertainty over the future of a number of popular channels to an end.
In April, Sling TV marketing materials surfaced indicating that a dispute had, or was about to emerge, between Sling TV and ViacomCBS over channels. A Sling TV landing page suggested many popular ViacomCBS channels were about to be removed and Sling TV would fight to get them back. However, soon after the Sling TV page was reported to have gone live, it was taken down again, leaving many unsure what was happening or even if there was a problem.
Today, ViacomCBS confirmed that a new multi-year agreement had been reached with Dish. Terms of the deal were not provided, but the short announcement did confirm that the carriage agreement allowed Dish to “continue delivering ViacomCBS portfolio of broadcast, entertainment, news and sports networks to Dish and Sling TV customers.” As a result, any dispute or issues that might have surfaced recently now appear to have been resolved.
No mention of a change in Sling TV price
Disputes are not new in the streaming world with channel owners and live TV streaming services often failing to reach an agreement, and sometimes leading to a temporary channel blackout. The channels included with a deal and their subsequent cost of carriage is often at the heart of disputes and sometimes those deals can be made with a subscriber price increase in mind. At the moment, there’s no suggestion that will be the case, following this latest agreement.
Even if Sling TV does decide to increase the price of its plans soon, it is unlikely to affect existing subscribers. Sling TV recently announced a one-year price guarantee which ensures all existing customers that their subscription price won’t increase during the next twelve months. The guarantee is also open to new subscribers, although only for those who sign up and subscribe before August 1, 2020.
Sling TV announced its price guarantee very quickly after YouTube TV confirmed it was increasing the cost of a subscription by $15, bringing the new price to $65 per month. At the same time as announcing the price increase, YouTube TV added a selection of ViacomCBS channels to its lineup, including some of the same channels that have now been confirmed as remaining part of Sling TV’s channel lineup.