Fox News is crying the blues, because, as of Saturday evening, Fox News and Fox Business are no longer part of the Dish Network channel lineup. The two parties could not reach an agreement on a new contract to carry the channels, so the Fox signal went black on the satellite provider.
Dish created a website, DishStandsForYou.com, which explains to subscribers what happened. The site says,
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.
Warren Schlichting, DISH senior vice president of programming, explains further:
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.
Moves of this sort have been a common occurrence with Dish over the years, as the satellite provider attempts to contain costs for customers. Fox is just the most recent of several networks to pull their signal from Dish, as they attempt to extort more money from the company. Past disputes have mostly been resolved within days, sometimes weeks, although a dispute over the MSG sports network that is over three years old is yet to be worked out.
Of course, conservatives are losing their minds over this. Conservative Tribune posted this headline on December 21: “BREAKING: Fox News BLOCKED From Major Satellite TV Provider… They Need Help”
In typical conservative fashion, the story trashes Dish, and gives a false version of events. It says,
DISH Network – you know, the one with the lazy stuffed kangaroo as a mascot – has decided that Fox News simply isn’t important enough to keep. Therefore, the provider has dropped both Fox News and Fox Business Channel for the time being, until Fox agrees to their contractual demands.
Fox News can’t help but lie about everything and anything.
Fox News is trying to alert their viewers through Facebook, with the following post:
Fox has also created a web page, to counter the one from Dish, called KeepFoxNews.com. On that page there is contact information for Dish, as well as a number you can call to show your support. A link to a Fox blog about the controversy suggests that the network may be having a difficult time communicating with its aging, technology illiterate viewers. As of this writing, a post calling for Fox’s hoards of followers to demand that Dish return their programming, has an amazing 60 Tweets, and 165 Facebook “likes.”
While these disputes are always something of a “he said-she said” sort of controversy, it is very likely that it is Dish, not Fox, that is telling the truth about this. If the old price that Dish paid for Fox News and Fox Business was acceptable to both partners, it is not likely that Dish would balk at renewing their contract with Fox, at the same, or even a slightly higher, price. What possibly happened, because it happened in the dispute that continues to keep MSG out of the Dish lineup, is that Fox, believing that their networks were so popular that Dish couldn’t possibly do without them, came to contract negotiations with a ridiculous demand. Dish, knowing that to meet that demand would mean that they would have to raise subscriber fees, even for those who aren’t interested in Fox’s brand of “news,” said “no.” So, Fox took their ball and went home.
This dispute will probably soon be over, and Fox News will be back on Dish. But, let’s enjoy it while it lasts! And, if you would like to call Dish and tell them to keep Fox News out of their channel lineup, you can reach them at 1-800-333-DISH.
Image via Hollywood Reporter