Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network have gone black on Dish Network in a carriage fee dispute.
The satellite company says that Fox was seeking carriage for other networks as part of the deal. Fox blames intransigence on the part of Dish. Dish has been involved in carriage disputes with CBS, NBCUniversal and Turner Broadcasting in recent months.
“It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well,” Warren Schlichting, Dish senior VP of programming, said in a statement. “Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”
Dish says it offered a short-term contract extension to keep the news channels on the air.
“Dish has had a productive relationship with Fox for many years,” Schlichting said . “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.”
"It is disappointing that, after nearly two decades without a blackout, Fox News Channel has been blocked by Dish Network,” Tim Carry, executive VP, distribution at Fox News Channel, said in a statement. “We care deeply about our viewers and hope that they will regain access to the number one cable news channel soon. We will continue to work around the clock to reach an agreement with Dish, as we have done with every other pay-TV provider for 18 years. This is the third time in as many months that DISH customers have suffered through a blackout due to DISH’s intransigence. Dish’s record speaks for itself, and makes its rhetoric about 'reasonable' agreements ring hollow."
Fox says Dish dropped the channels prematurely, at 11:50 p.m.
"Fox News Channel did not disconnect Dish, rather, Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations,” Carry said. “It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately."