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Dish blacks out channels again; this time it’s Fox

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Image used with permission by copyright holder
Dish Network subscribers continue to experience intentional outages while the provider undergoes contracts negotiations. But this time, now with Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, it’s a debate as to who’s actually doing the blocking, according to The Associated Press via

Dish is not taking blame for the channel outage, stating that it’s actually 21st Century Fox that’s blocking access. But Fox says that isn’t true, and Dish shut down its server just before the contract ended.

Dish says Fox has been discussing other channels in the negotiations that have nothing to do with the current contract at hand. Senior Vice President of Programming Warren Schlichting likens the situation to a realtor trying to close you on a house by attempting to sell you a car as well. He accuses Fox of blocking the channels in order to try and triple its pricing for sports and entertainment channels. But Fox News Executive Vice President of Distribution told the AP that the deal it’s offering Dish is similar to what other cable providers pay. Fair is fair, after all, and times are changing.

Related: Dish subscribers get their Turner back as CNN, TCM, and others come back online

Tis the season, apparently, for renegotiating those contracts. Earlier this month, CBS pulled the plug on some Dish customers over contract disputes, following a similar back and forth with Turner Broadcasting that saw the temporary loss of channels like CNN, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, and others.

The season has been full of threats, bluffs, and even the use of popular shows like The Walking Dead as bargaining chips. When Dish removed AMC from its lineup back in 2012, fans actually took to the streets in zombie walks to protest the move and the possibility of missing out on their favourite guilty pleasure. Fox News isn’t putting on quite the same show, though it is taking a pretty bold move – asking its viewers via e-mail and Twitter to switch to another TV provider.

Whatever the case may be, subscribers of Dish are likely beginning to lose patience as the satellite provider seems to be willing to use its 14 million or so customers as leverage. Previous black outs haven’t lasted long, but how much is too much? For now, those looking to get their Fox news fix over the holiday break will no doubt be relieved once yet another key negotiation period is over.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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