Dish Network And Fox News Reach New Deal To End Blackout

Robert Jonathan - Author

Jan. 16 2015, Updated 12:11 p.m. ET

The Fox News Channel is back on the Dish Network.

Fox and Dish have reached a multiyear distribution agreement that ends the blackout of the Fox News Channel on the satellite provider that had been in effect since December 21. A higher profile for the Fox Business Network (FBN) is also part of the deal, although the details have not been officially disclosed.

Various news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal are suggesting that Fox will receive a 50 percent boost from Dish in per-subscriber fees under the new contract, although it was apparently unsuccessful in bundling Fox Sports 1 into the deal.

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“According to research firm SNL Kagan, the average monthly fee for Fox News is currently about $1.00 per subscriber. Under terms of the new pact, the price Dish would pay would rise to an average fee of around $1.50 per-subscriber, per-month, people familiar with the matter said. Dish is also going to distribute Fox Business Network to more of its subscribers, the people said, and give it a channel position near Fox News as part of the agreement.”

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Fox News finished 2014 as the most-watched cable news network (for the 13th year in a row) and in fourth place in primetime viewership for all of basic cable.

As the Inquisitrpreviously reported, Fox News apparently took a hit in the ratings once the blackout took effect. Dish has 14 million subscribers. Dish also took a hit in the dispute over carriage fees, with about 90,000 furious Fox News fans dropping their subscriptions.

In announcing the settlement, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen thanked those subscribers who were both supportive and angry about the blackout. “These comments to Dish and to Fox ultimately brought our respective teams together in a spirit of compromise so that our mutual customers would no longer be impacted.”

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According to CNET, Fox News was pulled from Dish’s channel menu “after negotiations for a new distribution deal broke down. Dish said the channels were blocked after Fox introduced fee increases for other sports and information channels not part of the original contract, while Fox countered that Dish was trying to intimidate and censor it.”

While the heated contractual dispute was ongoing, Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly even cut a commercial that accused Dish of censorship (see embed below).

According to Mediaite columnist Joe Concha, Fox emerged as a the lopsided winner in the negotiations.

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“So how did Fox win? Simply put, they had the horses in the form of O’Reilly and Kelly, the message (‘censorship’), but most of all, passionate viewers of Fox News voting with their wallets — the kind of viewers who execs even at other networks will tell you are the most notoriously loyal of any out there, free or cable.”

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The Fox News Channel apparently won’t be included in Dish’s new, inexpensive Sling TV streaming service, however.

Are you happy that the Fox News Channel is back on the Dish Network?

[Image credit: Fo0bar]


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