Across America, customers of the DISH TV Network have lost access to the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. Difficult negotiations between TV channels and TV carriers are a familiar feature of the new-media environment, but in this case, Dish prematurely dropped FNC and FBN at 11:50 p.m. ET Saturday night, before negotiations had even ended.
This rupture has not gone over well with Fox fans. As TV Newser reports:
Fox viewers…are fully engaged. Since 6 a.m. Sunday, over 12,000 calls have been placed to Fox–and 7,000 of them asked to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service. The network reports 22,000 viewer emails have been sent to Dish to object to the Fox blackout, and viewers have swarmed the Dish Facebook page.
Breitbart News obtained this statement from Fox News Executive Vice President of Distribution Tim Carry:
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.
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.
Fox Fans might be interested in knowing of a website, keepfoxnews.com, which provides information on communicating with DISH, as well as tools for finding other ways to watch the Fox News Channel. As one industry insider put it, “This is a fight that Dish picked—and they’ll soon wish they hadn’t.”