“When we take something down we’re prepared to leave it down forever. Things like CNN are not quite the product that they used to be. “
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen was in rare form today in his quarterly earnings conference call with analysts and media — especially when asked about his battle with Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting. All of its channels except for TBS and TNT went dark on the No. 2 satellite company on October 21 as a result of a contract dispute. And Ergen says he’s prepared to dig in his heels, including doing without CNN which he says is “not a top 10 network anymore. Unless they find the Malaysian plane.” His comments were so interesting that I’ve decided to include big blocks of them, instead of summarizing. Here you go:
He’s prepared to do without Turner:
When we take something down we’re prepared to leave it down forever. Things like CNN are not quite the product that they used to be. You can imagine: CNN down on election night would have been a disaster 15 or 20 years ago. Now there are plenty of other places for people to get news. In fact a lot of people get news not from TV but from their devices. So it’s not had a major impact on our business yet. I do expect that we would ultimately lose some subscribers without Turner programming. We would prefer to get a deal done. But we have a timeframe that we look at and there comes a point in time, certainly during this month, if we don’t have a deal [then] we just make a long-term decision to go a different direction.
How the Turner dispute reflects broader trends:
The industry is changing…There are about 10 big programming groups – I don’t anticipate that the cable companies, satellite companies and phone companies are going to carry the same 10 groups. It’s not going to be a marketplace where everybody has the exact same thing and it’s just about price. Some [will lean] more towards family and kids, some more toward sports, some more towards entertainment.
Read more at: Deadline | Hollywood