Dish Network, Fox Reach Carriage Deal

Nellie Andreeva

While it’s still fighting with Cablevision, Fox has settled its carriage dispute with Dish Network. It has signed a comprehensive deal for its broadcast network’s O&O stations as well as the cable channels that went dark on Oct. 1. (They have been restored today.) The Fox network signal was in jeopardy with the two sides’ previous deal expiring Sunday night. The agreement means Dish customers will have continued coverage of the World Series and the NFL unlike Cablevision subscribers who have been without Fox for 2 two weeks as the two sides have failed to agree on a new deal.

Los Angeles and Englewood, Colo. — DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and Fox Networks, an operating unit of News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS), today announced a wide-ranging distribution agreement to provide the third-largest video distributor in the United States with continued access to programming from Fox Broadcasting and Fox local television stations in major cities. The agreement also included carriage of FX, National Geographic Channel, and Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, which were restored for DISH Network viewers Friday.

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UPDATE: Fox-Cablevision Carriage Spat Claims Baseball Game, Sides Still Far Apart

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE SUNDAY PM: After another session of talks today, Cablevision and Fox once again failed to make any “material progress” and remain far apart, according to a statement from Fox. Negotiations are scheduled to continue tomorrow. Meanwhile, the two sides continued their PR war with dueling statements. Cablevision once again pleaded for attention from Washington and pushed for binding arbitration: “The longer this shameful News Corp. blackout of the NFL and Major League Baseball continues, the more obvious it becomes to everyone, including political leaders of both parties, that binding arbitration is the fastest and fairest way to return Fox programming to Cablevision customers,” the company said. Fox released an open letter to Cablevision subscribers from Lew Leone, GM of the two Fox stations affected by the blackout. Here is a portion of it:

We offered Cablevision the exact same price that other companies are paying for our stations. But for some reason, Cablevision thinks that it deserves special treatment.

Instead of negotiating like a responsible business, Cablevision decided to make this your problem in the hope that if they caused you, the viewer, enough inconvenience, then politicians would intervene. That is what Cablevision’s call for “arbitration” is all about.   But ask yourself – do you think Cablevision would be ok with someone else stepping in to decide the price you pay them for cable and broadband service?

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Latest Retrans Fight: Fox Cable vs Dish TV

UPDATE: Fox Networks and Dish Network are yet to start talks about restoring FX, National Geographic Channel and 19 regional sports networks on Dish systems. The cable networks were pulled at midnight after the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a new carriage deal, with talks breaking off shortly before the midnight deadline. In the meanwhile, accusations are flying from both sides. “Fox is demanding a new contract with an unprecedented rate increase of more than 50 percent,” Dish said in a statement. “Fox has flatly refused DISH Network’s request to allow customers to continue to watch these Fox channels during the negotiations.” Fox is vigorously disputing both claims, calling the 50% figure “absurd” and stating that it was Dish that refused to keep the networks on while negotiations continue and it never asked for an extension of the two sides’ existing deal. “The proposal we’ve offered DISH is fair and in line with the tremendous value we provide,” Fox Networks said in a statement. With the carriage dispute on the cable side escalating, Fox and Dish have not even started discussing a new retransmission consent agreement for the Fox stations as the current one expires at the end of the month. Those talks will certainly include a demand for retransmission consent fees by Fox, something that put the company at odds with Time Warner Cable in December and threatened the network’s coverage of the college football championship games. Similarly, the end of Fox stations’ agreement with Dish will coincide with the network’s coverage of the World Series. Read More »

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