Fox News Channel and Fox Business were blacked out Saturday on satellite TV provider Dish Network, after the two parties failed to agree on a new contract.
Dish has been negotiating with the two Fox channels over the last several weeks, and both sides are pointing fingers at each other, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
In a statement, Dish’s senior vice president of programming, Warren Schlichting, accused Fox News of attempting to increase fees for sports and entertainment channels during the contract’s negotiation, which did not include those channels.
“It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish’s senior vice president of programming. “Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”
While Dish says the negotiations are continuing, and it has offered the two Fox channels a short term extension, Fox contends that Dish had prematurely blocked the channels. Fox News Channel vice president Tim Carry said in a statement that Fox’x blocking is in line with Dish’s history of failed negotiations, including a 12-hour CBS blackout earlier this month.
“It is disappointing that, after nearly two decades without a blackout, Fox News Channel has been blocked by Dish,” Carry said. “This is the third time in as many months that Dish customers have suffered through a blackout due to Dish’s intransigence. Dish’s record speaks for itself, and makes its rhetoric about ‘reasonable’ agreements ring hollow.”