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Fox and Dish Network resolve fee dispute; restore channels

October 29, 2010 |  2:07 pm

Fox's dispute with satellite broadcaster Dish Network, which led to a monthlong blackout of Fox's regional sports networks, FX and the National Geographic Channel, was resolved Friday when the two companies agreed on a new multi-year contract.

Fox immediately restored its 19 regional sports networks, including Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West, and the two entertainment channels. The Friday armistice lifted the threat that Fox also would pull the signals of its local TV stations, including KTTV Channel 11 and KCOP Channel 13 in Los Angeles, which would have prevented Dish customers from watching such popular network programming as "House," "Glee" and potentially the final games of the World Series.

Viewers in 14.3 million homes -- including more than 600,000 in the Los Angeles area -- with Dish service have been infuriated by the feud. On Oct. 1, Fox pulled its signals for the cable channels off the satellite broadcaster when the two companies could not agree on payments.

The hang-up during the monthlong stalemate was payment for the expensive sports channels and whether Dish would make them available to all of its subscribers. The Fox cable sports channels run as much as $4 per month per subscriber, about four times the cost of an entertainment channel like TNT. 

The resolution means that local sports fans can watch the UCLA football game this weekend on the Fox sports channels as well as Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings hockey games.

The new deal with Dish does not affect Fox's ongoing tangle with New York-based Cablevision Systems Corp.  'Viewers in more than 3 million homes in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have been missing the World Series, Fox's broadcasts of NFL football games, "Family Guy" and "Glee."    

-- Meg James

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