Fox News Returns To Dish Network After New Contract Ends Blackout Dispute

Consumers don’t usually see all the ins-and-outs of TV negotiations, except when a contract expires and a channel wants more money than a provider is willing to pay. When the fight gets bad enough, the parties go nuclear and a channel gets blacked out. Fox News viewers who subscribe to Dish have seen — or rather, not seen — that blackout up close and personal for the last three weeks, but the feud between the two is now over.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dish and Fox reached an agreement yesterday evening, and that Fox News and Fox Business have since been restored to the lineup for Dish subscribers.

The actual terms of the agreement are of course super-secret, because carriage deals always are. However, the WSJ reports that the ever-popular “people familiar with the matter” say that the price Dish will pay Fox is increasing from approximately $1 (per subscriber, per month) to roughly $1.50. Since Dish has about 14 million subscribers, that fifty-cent change adds up to millions of dollars.

Carriage disputes are always a festival of he-said/he-said mud-slinging, but even by those low standards the fight between Dish and Fox News got particularly ugly. The disagreement between the two began right before Christmas. Dish of course blamed Fox for being greedy and unreasonable, and Fox naturally blamed Dish for being obstinate and underhanded.

Both companies then started campaigns to get their mutual customers to call each other out, all pretty routine stuff. But Fox also continued to leverage its slate of celebrities in advertisements pointing viewers to a website that would find them an alternate TV provider.

The new agreement is said to be a multi-year contract that will hopefully keep things running smoothly for consumers for a while.

Dish, Fox News Reach Distribution Deal [Wall Street Journal]

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