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HBO disappears on Dish Network

The network went dark early Friday morning following a contract dispute

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the first time in its 40-plus-year history, a blackout will keep HBO off the air of one of its biggest distributors.

The signal for the AT&T-owned channel went dark on Dish as of midnight on Friday.

Dish blamed the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the AT&T and Time Warner merger. Time Warner is the parent company of HBO.

HBO and Cinemax went dark on for the provider’s satellite service and video streaming after Dish and HBO failed to reach a deal to replace a contract that expired at midnight on Wednesday.

Both Dish and HBO say they gave the other company the option to extend the expiring contract while negotiating a new one, according to Wired.com.

Dish has blacked-out other networks before—including Univision, the Spanish language channel.

Dish alone represents 2.5 million subscribers for HBO.