Fox Plays Hardball With DISH Network, Pulls 19 Regional Sports Channels and FX

We — just like you — have had it with stories about squabbling between cable/satellite providers and various networks. And yet, these nasty spats go on, and they always seem to come to a head at importune times. The latest: Fox has decided to pull 19 regional sports channels, FX and the National Geographic Channel from DISH Network subscribers while the two parties dicker over carriage fees.

DISH users will still have access to their local Fox affiliate, as well as Fox News (thank God!) and Fox Business (Amen!).

Here are the 19 stations that have been pulled from DISH:
FOX Sports Arizona
FOX Sports Detroit
FOX Sports Florida
FOX Sports Midwest
FOX Sports North
FOX Sports Ohio
FOX Sports Oklahoma
FOX Sports Southwest
FOX Sports South
FOX Sports West
Prime Ticket
Sun Sports
(These last 6 are channels that DISH subscribers only had access to as part-time/overflow channels)
Fox Sports Carolinas
Fox Sports Houston
Fox Sports Indiana
Fox Sports Kansas City
Fox Sports Tennessee
Fox Sports Wisconsin

Additionally, in a deal unrelated to the Fox negotiations, DISH users in the NYC area also no longer have access to the MSG network.

Said a VP from the satellite provider:

DISH Network is not going to allow FOX or any programmer to bully our customers into paying such an unconscionable price increase… FOX has a long history of trying to shake down pay TV providers, including Cablevision, Time Warner, and Bright House.

In fact, the American Television Alliance, which counts all of the above companies (and DISH competitor DirecTV) issued a statement excoriating Fox for the timing of the blackouts:

During the pennant races, Fox has struck out at viewers across America. FOX’s blackout of regional sports networks and other cable channels from DISH Network puts consumers in the middle of a business dispute, the same tactic broadcast networks are using in retransmission negotiations with pay-TV providers.

For its part, Fox calls DISH’s claim about the broadcaster’s demands “absurd,” and say the fees Fox is asking for are “consistent with our agreements with hundreds of other cable and satellite providers.”

Fox sports channels, MSG drop off Dish in dispute [AP]

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