CNN, Cartoon Network and several other Turner cable channels were removed from satellite TV giant Dish Network's systems late Monday after the two companies could not agree on a new distribution contract.
Dish said the action was taken because it no longer had permission to broadcast several Turner Broadcasting channels to its customers.
The channels include CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, CNN en Español, HLN, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. The channels were in a widely distributed programming package received by the bulk of Dish's 14 million customers.
The Dish-Turner Broadcasting contract dispute is the latest in a series of escalating conflicts during the last two years that have left millions of TV viewers without access to their favorite channels.
Pay-TV companies, including Dish, are trying to hold the line on programming costs because customers have complained that their bills already are too high.
Another large cable operator, Suddenlink, recently balked at Viacom Inc.'s demands for a fee increase and yanked Viacom's channels, including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, from its lineup.
Dish, in a statement, said the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract or an extension, which would have kept the Turner channels on the air while negotiations continued.
"Dish has had a productive relationship with Turner Networks for many years," said Warren Schlichting, Dish's senior vice president of programming. "We regret the service disruption to our customers, and remain committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup."
Two of Turner's largest channels, TBS and TNT, were not part of the blackout. Those channels are covered by a separate contract.
"Turner has worked diligently for months to come to a fair agreement including multiple extensions and compromises," Turner, which is owned by media company Time Warner, said in a separate statement.
"It's unfortunate that Dish is once again operating in a disruptive manner that takes away networks and programming from their customers," Turner said. "We are hopeful our counterparts will return to the negotiating table, and [that] we'll get a deal completed."