After three weeks of going dark, Dish and Fox News have finally kissed and made up, with two channels now restored following the confirmation of a new multi-year agreement, according to Cnet.
In late December, both the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network went black for Dish subscribers following stalled negotiations between the carrier and network. Dish was arguing that 21st Century Fox was trying to bring channels into the negotiations that had no relevance; while Fox claimed the pricing it was offering was fair, and cried intimidation.
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Specifics of the deal haven’t been officially disclosed, but Cnet reports that Dish has agreed to pay Fox $1.50 per subscriber, up from $1.
In the aftermath, Fox News and Fox Business Executive Vice President of Distribution, Tim Carry, and Dish’s Senior Vice President of Programming, Warren Schlichting, both jointly released a statement thanking viewers for their patience.
A thank you is great, but let’s be straight – it doesn’t bring back the 21 days of lost coverage that Dish customers have arguably been paying for the whole time. Alas, such blackouts have become commonplace as providers like Dish and DirecTV attempt to renegotiate new agreements with multiple partners. That said, Dish in particular seems to have a knack for knowing when to play hardball, and when to compromise. That’s part of the reason the company has become the first to secure a lean lineup of quality programming — including ESPN — for Dish’s new Web TV service, Sling TV.
Unfortunately, as blackouts, and even litigation have become commonplace in negotiations between content providers and pay-TV services, it’s the customers who feel the brunt of the consequences, held hostage while the massive entities play chicken. Hopefully this latish skirmish will be the last for a while.