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Fox and Dish Network resolve fee dispute; restore channels

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

Comments () | Archives (7)

direct tv... no problems no hassels, no lost service!!.. as an technician for a local satellite provider (who supplied both dish , direct tv, and hughes net... direct tv won hands down.. though i wouldn't recommend hughes net if you have kids who download alot of stuff off the net... dtv is the way to go!!!

What's not mentioned is, will fees rise for subscribers? Who won?

This sucks. During the dispute, Dish replaced FX with a HD movie channel that I have watched a lot more than I watched FX.

Fox is the loser all around.

DirecTV is no saint in these types of disputes either.

For about six months from September 2009 to March 2o1o Versus and DirecTV were locked in a feud over programming/broadcast fees, with the usual tit-for-tat accusations and claims that one party or the other was looking out for consumers. Granted, Versus' programming may not appeal to everyone, but that's not the point. Conflicts can arise between any provider and any network (think ABC, HBO, Fox in recent years) when their contracts expire, and in the end consumers lose when the two parties can't resolve the dispute.

Of course, one alternative is to drop subscription TV and use OTA and internet outlets, but I suspect that given enough time even those choices will become fee-based.

Glad to have my channels back on Dish Network. Recently found out that DirecTV has dropped the G4 channel. makes me even gladder that i switched to Dish Network when I did. Saving lotsa money too.

I am a fairly new subscriber to the DISH Network. Bottom line: If I could legally drop my two year contract without a penalty, I would do it tonight. I am so fed up being a puppet customer pawn while DISH/FOX play CHICKEN in Middle Georgia.


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