Dish Subscribers Lose Fox News, Blame Game Ensues

As of midnight on Saturday, negotiations between DISH and 21st Century Fox stalled and their deal expired. As a result, DISH customers will no longer be receiving Fox News and Fox Business.

Most of us were taught not to point fingers. Apparently, DISH and Fox did not get that memo. After failing to find a compromise in their contract, both companies played the blame game.

Tim Carry, a Fox News distribution executive, was quick to remind viewers of DISH’s history with blacking out channels. He was referring to the CBS and Turner Networks (CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, etc.) that were pulled in the past few months.

“It is disappointing that, after nearly two decades without a blackout, FOX News Channel has been blocked by DISH Network. 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.”

DISH was not above throwing blame right back at Fox, however. DISH Senior Vice President of programming, Warren Schlichting, insinuated that Fox used unethical negotiation tactics, including blacking out their own channels for leverage.

“Tonight, 21st Century Fox, Inc. blocked DISH customer access to Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, as the media conglomerate introduced other channels into negotiations despite those channels not being included in the contract up for renewal. 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. 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 has had a productive relationship with Fox for many years. 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.”

Fox responded by stating that the DISH representatives were flat-out lying.

“Fox News Channel did not disconnect Dish, rather, Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations. 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.”

With the back and forth going on between the two companies, it’s impossible to tell who is actually at fault. The bottom line is that, for whatever reason, DISH and Fox failed to reach an agreement, and the customers are the ones really losing.

[ Image courtesy of Fox ]