TV Answer Man, I have been a Dish subscriber for a few months and I want to get HBO but I can’t find it anywhere on the web site or in my guide. Do you know where it is and how to subscribe? — Wendy, Galveston, Texas.
Wendy, Dish, and its live streaming service, Sling TV, have not carried HBO and Cinemax for 30 months now due to a carriage disagreement with the channels’ owner, AT&T. The companies are fighting over how much Dish and Sling should pay to carry the two premium networks.
Well, I should say, were fighting, because I suspect the companies have long stopped negotiating. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has repeatedly said his pay TV services will likely never carry HBO again because it’s available online via HBO Max ($14.99 a month). His argument is that it’s silly for Dish to pay a carriage fee to carry HBO when his customers can get it directly via streaming.
Of course, there’s a fallacy in that argument. Some Dish’s subscribers who live in rural areas do not have access to high-speed Internet. Consequently, HBO Max is not an option for them. But Ergen has calculated that the number of Internet-deprived subs is relatively small, thereby allowing him to keep HBO on the sidelines.
As Ergen has also noted, any Dish (or Sling TV) customer who would have dropped their service over a lack of HBO would have done so by now so there’s no pressure to bring it back after 30 months.
Wendy, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann