In response to unusual caustic remarks from Dish Network's Charlie Ergen yesterday, Turner Broadcasting says it is unclear what this dispute is about.
A couple of weeks ago, Dish Network took off some Turner networks -- including CNN, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network -- over a carriage deal dispute.
“While there were clearly deal points to get done, they were not the type you would usually go dark over,” says a Turner Broadcasting pre-release. “So it is still unclear to us exactly what this dispute is about. We've been told our networks were taken down because we would not move an expiration date later in the year.”
On Tuesday, Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network, during an earnings phone call offered up some eye-opening criticism of some Turner networks -- that TNT and TBS programming isn’t as good as programs on AMC. He also said that CNN’s new programming has half the audience it formerly had, adding that the perhaps the cable news model doesn't work any more. Ergen also said that Cartoon Network isn’t all that special, and that you can find kids programming on many subscription video-on-demand services
And then Ergen offered up this: "When we take something down, we're prepared to take it down forever." He added: "We would prefer to get a deal done. We have a time frame we look at, but if we don't have a deal, we might make a long-term decision to go another direction."
Turner also said: "We are disappointed in the aggressive nature of the comments from Dish Network, particularly given the fact that Dish agreed to our rates and carriage proposals weeks ago."
Turner added: "Other top five distributors have signed up for what Dish has walked away from."