Tags: Fox News | Fox News | Dish Network

Fox-Dish Squabble Continues, News Network Still Blacked Out

By    |   Monday, 29 December 2014 10:53 AM

Furious Dish Network, Inc., customers are dropping the service, demanding refunds and besieging Dish with angry calls and emails after Fox News was dropped over a contract dispute.

On Dec. 21, fans of the immensely popular Fox News, among the 14 million Dish subscribers, awoke to find out that their favorite network had been blacked out, Mediaite reports.

To date, 178,000 complaint calls were made through a toll-free line Fox set up, and 140,000 emails have deluged Dish, but the dispute remains ongoing, Variety reports.

The squabble involves "carriage fees" paid by providers to networks for programming. Dish claims that Fox attempted to obtain a new, higher-priced contract for an "unrelated" channel, likely FXX or Fox Sports 1, as part of the new overall Fox contract, and Dish bucked the effort, dropping Fox instead as a negotiating ploy, Mediaite reports.

Fox News, in a statement reported in Variety, said: “Since Dish dropped Fox News, Dish has focused on shifting blame instead of getting Fox News back on the air. But the facts speak for themselves – Dish has blocked more than 10 channels in the last six months alone. We continue to work on resolving this situation, but until Dish is responsive, we are unable to update you on when Fox News will be available.”

However, in a video released by Dish, chairman Charles Ergen, making a play on Fox's "Fair and Balanced" slogan, stated: "There was nothing about this extortion attempt that was fair or balanced. Rather, it was greedy, arrogant and disrespectful to you, their loyal viewer.

"Fox removed Fox News and Fox Business, using these channels as leverage to increase the rates we pay for other channels that are not included in this contract. We offered an extension so customers would not be impacted by these negotiations. Unfortunately, Fox refused this offer.

"We are actively working to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with Fox."

On a website Fox set up to deal with the dispute, Fox states: "Despite the undeniable demand for Fox News Channel, DISH is putting its interests ahead of you by controlling what you watch and denying you access to Fair and Balanced™ news programming you can’t get anywhere else.

"Don’t let them get away with it – you have options!"

Fox has been urging its fans to protest and switch providers. However, those wishing to switch providers, or demand refunds from Dish, have discovered that the Dish contract states: "We may add, delete, rearrange and/or change any and all programming, programming packages and other Services that we offer, as well as the prices and fees related to such programming, programming packages and Services, at any time, including without limitation, during any term commitment period to which you have agreed. You are not entitled to any refund because of a deletion, rearrangement or change of any programming, programming packages or other Services," International Business Times reports, noting that some complaining customers have been offered a $10-$15 refund.

In addition, Dish customers switching providers could be hit with contract cancellation penalties.

As to whether the dispute will be settled shortly, Tim Carry, Fox News' distribution chief, told the Wall Street Journal: "I’m hearing nothing but crickets."

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Furious Dish Network, Inc., customers are dropping the service, demanding refunds and besieging Dish with angry calls and emails after Fox News was dropped over a contract dispute.
Fox News, Dish Network
Monday, 29 December 2014 10:53 AM
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