Fox networks go dark on DISH

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 22 December 2014

Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network have gone dark for DISH Network subscribers.

DISH decided to black out the channels when a new carriage contract couldn't be arrived at by the expiration date of midnight on Saturday.

"Fox News Channel did not disconnect Dish," said Tim Carry, executive vice president FCN and FBN. "Rather, DISH prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations."

He added, "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."

DISH however said that it suggested a short-term extension to avoid a blackout as negotiations continued, a strategy that it has employed many times of late in negotiations with everyone from CBS to Turner to Comcast SportsNets. But, it said that Fox instead itself pulled the two networks and introduced other channels into negotiationsóchannels that are not included in the contract up for renewal.

"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."

Schlichting added: "DISH has had a productive relationship with Fox for many years. We regret the service disruption to our customers, and remain committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup."

Over the weekend, DISH put to rest two more carriage dispute issues: with Comcast regional sports networks, and with Journal Broadcast.