Fox News, Business Channels Yanked In Latest Dish Network Disagreement

Dish Network subscribers have lost access to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network due to a dispute in negotiations between the satellite TV provider and media conglomerate. At issue is the expired contract between the two sides and their inability to come to terms on a renewed deal, so as usual when these things drag out, the customers are caught in the middle of what ends up being a contentious battle with lots of finger pointing.

Eventually the two sides will likely kiss and make up, as they almost do when contract negotiations like this reach a standstill. But in the meantime, each one is blaming the other in what amounts to a public relations war, as if customers actually care about all this nonsense -- in reality, they just want the programming they paid for.

According to Dish, the reason there's a standstill is because Fox is trying to introduce other channels into the negotiations even though they weren't part of the expired deal.

Dish Network Garbage
After failing to reach a deal on renewed programming, Fox News is encouraging Dish Network subscribers to dump their provider. Image Source: Flickr (Ken Teegardin)

"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," said Warren Schlichting, Dish senior vice president of programming. "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."

Naturally Fox News has a different spin on the situation.

"Unfortunately for Dish customers, today marks the third time in just two months that you have suffered through a blackout. Through nearly two decades on the air, Fox News has never before had a blackout due to a business dispute. Unfortunately, Dish Network has decided to block your access to Fair and Balanced news programming that you can’t get anywhere else," Fox News said.

The media conglomerate maintains that the Fox News channel is the number one rated cable news channel in the country and that it attracts more viewers than its nearest three competitors combined. It also claims that Dish has a history of its putting its business interests ahead of customers, noting that "in the past two months, Dish Network has blocked access to CBS Corp., Turner Broadcasting, NBCUniversal, and other news networks."