DISH customers have lost Fox owned-and-operated broadcast stations in 17 markets across 23 states and DC. All DISH and Sling TV customers no longer have FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes.
DISH claims that Fox is demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels. It said the programmer is also attempting to force a bundling of its local channels and cable networks in order to get more money from the deal and gain negotiating leverage. In order to avoid a blackout, DISH said it offered Fox a short-term contract extension to Fox that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon.
“Fox had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up,” DISH svp, programming Andy LeCuyer said in a statement. “Instead, Fox chose to harm its viewers.”
Fox launched website KeepFox.com, telling viewers: “DISH is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers.” The impasse comes during NFL season and with the return of popular shows, such as Fox’s “The Masked Singer” and next week’s debut of WWE “Friday Night Smackdown.”
Both sides are informing customers of alternatives for viewing. DISH is offering free over-the-air antennas and promoting streaming, while Fox is providing info for viewers to switch providers.