DISH Network and HBO have been in a dispute for months, that shows no signs of letting up. While this dispute continues, the popular content channel remains unavailable to DISH subscribers around the world. With HBO’s flagship program Game of Thrones set to debut for its final season in April, people are starting to get antsy.
DISH co-founder and chairman Charlie Ergen remarked on the looming Game of Thrones premiere in a recent earnings call, saying that it “…will be interesting because people will find another way to get it…Every young person knows how to go onto the internet and get a code and get HBO. We hate to talk about piracy, but that will be the result.”.
To Ergen’s point, it is true that HBO has not had any major shows airing at any point during this impasse so far. Game of Thrones will likely be a major pain point for DISH subscribers, and could certainly lead to loss of customers if the two companies don’t reach an agreement soon.
Unfortunately, the contractual disagreement between HBO and DISH shows no signs of resolution. This is the first blackout in HBO’s 40-plus year history, which illustrates just how displeased the content provider is with DISH Network.
DISH president and CEO W. Erik Carlson spoke with Deadline about the dispute and said that “…there has been ‘no meaningful movement’ in talks with HBO”—not great news for DISH’s Game of Thrones fans.
Of course, April is still several weeks off and it is entirely possible DISH and HBO reach an agreement before then. Unfortunately, all accounts point to that being a very unlikely scenario at this point. Will this blackout mean that DISH loses subscribers, or as Ergen suggests, will it lead to an increase in pirated downloads of Game of Thrones? Only time will tell.