I've got some bad news for Dish customers. The satellite provider and Fox News have been engaged in an ugly negotiating battle that ultimately led to Dish customers losing access to America's most watched news channel. The messy break up has both sides spitting accusations and customers wondering what they should do.
Service providers and networks are constantly haggling with each other to negotiate the prices that providers will pay for a network's channels. Occasionally, no agreement can be made and customers are the real losers, because they lose out on channels they want. Fox News is blaming Dish for the divorce and is encouraging viewers to switch to other providers and even set up keepfoxnews.com to help customers find new one in their area. Customers also lost access to The Fox Business Network.
“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure our customers can switch providers as quickly as possible,” [Executive Vice President for Distribution Tim] Carry said in an interview. The terms Fox offered the company are similar to deals cut with other cable and satellite-TV operators, he said.
But, Dish tells a different story.
Dish is claiming that Fox News is playing hardball in order to force the satellite provider to "triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that aren’t a part of the contract up for renewal." Sometimes, networks will use their more popular channels to prop up less popular niche programming. Fox News is owned by 21st Century Fox.
“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,” Warren Schlichting, Dish’s senior vice president of programming, said in the statement. Dish regrets the effect of the disruption on consumers and is committed to reaching an agreement, he said.
Dish even launched a website of its own, dishstandsforyou.com. The company pins blame for the breakup on Fox News and says it is still trying to negotiate with the network to bring the channel back.
If you're going to wait it out and see if the two sides can come to an agreement, you can watch some of Fox News' content - like Fox News Sunday - on Hulu. Tired of bickering companies and rising costs? Click here to learn more about cutting the cord on cable.