At this point DISH subscribers are no strangers to dealing with a channel blackout or two for each year. The satellite-provider-turned-wireless-carrier has a long history of hard negotiating tactics when it comes to renewing carriage contracts. The latest channels temporarily blacked out by DISH? FOX and FS1.
FOX is not backing down, and has gone so far as to create a website dedicated to explaining the dispute and what led to the current blackout.
A FOX statement on the website reads: “DISH is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers. DISH elected to drop FOX networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the FOX services are widely available through every other major television provider.”
Naturally, DISH Network has a different perspective.
“DISH and Fox had been making steady progress in their recent negotiations, and DISH was hopeful that they would come to a mutual agreement to renew carriage of its local stations. In that spirit, DISH offered a short-term contract extension to Fox that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon, and would preserve the ability of DISH and Sling TV customers to access the Fox stations while negotiations continued…Fox had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up…Instead, Fox chose to harm its own viewers,” reads DISH’s press release.
This blackout comes at a terrible time for many DISH customers as the NFL and MLB seasons are both in full swing. Unfortunately, many of the channels that are blacked out are the ones that carry those games.
For now, customers will just have to wait and hope that DISH and FOX resolve their differences quickly. It’s in the best interest of both companies to reach this affected market, so it stands to reason that the blackout won’t go on indefinitely.