HBO Removed from Sling & Dish in Dispute with AT&T
For the first time in the history of HBO, it has been removed as the result of a carriage dispute. HBO & Cinemax are no longer available to customers on both Dish Network and Sling TV.
Dish Network counts for 2.5 million of HBO subscribers, while Sling’s numbers were not disclosed. The channel previously could be added for $15 a month. HBO is now owned by AT&T who is also the parent company of DirecTV and DIRECTV NOW who only charge $5 a month for their customers.
In a statement, HBO Shared:
“During our forty plus years of operation, HBO has always been able to reach agreement with our valued distributors and our services have never been taken down or made unavailable to subscribers due to an inability to conclude a deal. Unfortunately, DISH is making it extremely difficult, responding to our good faith attempts with unreasonable terms. Past behavior shows that removing services from their customers is becoming all too common a negotiating tactic for them. We hope the situation with DISH changes soon but, in the meantime, our valued customers should take advantage of the other ways to access an HBO subscription so they can continue to enjoy our acclaimed programming.”
In response, Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior VP of programming shared:
“Plain and simple, the merger created for AT&T immense power over consumers. It seems AT&T is implementing a new strategy to shut off its recently acquired content from other distributors. This may be the first of many HBO blackouts for consumers across the country. AT&T no longer has incentive to come to an agreement on behalf of consumer choice; instead, it’s been given the power to grab more money or steal away customers.”