DISH Network says Fox Networks to Blame For Service Drop

[Note by Travis Hair, 10/12/10 5:10 PM MDT ] Per FSN, they noted that Directv is no longer owned by Fox. That section has been removed from the story below.

As you may have seen here on Five for Howling a couple weeks ago, DISH customers are currently not recieving Fox Sports net channels along with other Fox distributed networks as the two sides fight over contracts fees etc. I wrote about this after being contacted by Fox Sports Arizona as it will certainly impact Coyotes fans if they can't see any of the local games which start here on Saturday against the Red Wings. Well earlier today with FSN doing a lot of the talking so far, DISH Network sent along this Press release:

"Please know that DISH Network continues to negotiate with FOX. FOX is trying to scare viewers by threatening to take away the World Series and other local FOX TV programming, a tactic they've been using in ads. DISH Network has yet to receive a proposal from FOX that would equal anything but an overly excessive rate increase. The two sides are continuing to negotiate and we are hopeful we can reach a fair deal.

On Oct. 1, FOX Networks blocked its regional sports channels from DISH Network satellite TV customers and is demanding an outrageous rate increase in order to restore the programming, depriving millions of viewers their regional sports.

Last week, public interest groups, including the American Television Alliance, Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance and the Sports Fans Coalition, have publicly voiced their support for DISH Network and are imploring FOX to consider what is best for consumers. The groups strongly urge FOX to discontinue its practice of blocking access to programming while negotiations continue after contracts expire."

So basically here's what this all means or looks like to me; Whatever contract Fox and DISH had for Eleventy Billion Dollars, or whatever it is since they don't really tell us, expired at the end of September. Fox, wanting a lot more money says, give us what we're looking for or we walk. They're still negotiating a deal and DISH doesn't want to lose some pretty important channels so they say "Hey how about we keep things going like they are until we can get something new worked out?" Fox basically has the power to cut the feed to DISH and make their service significatly weaker without it so they take their ball and go home so to speak. 

All this does is lead to millions of consumers getting screwed no matter who's at fault. We know this deal is for a ton of cash and both sides want said cash. In the meantime though Hundreds of thousands of Sports fans in the Phoenix area and Millions across the country will miss NHL games locally as well as College football and the beginning of the NBA season. Really it doesn't matter who's at fault. Just find a way to work this out without charging people 200 bucks a month for cable please. 

FSN Representative Brett Hansen had the following to say in response to the story:

This was not a surprise for Dish. FOX had been trying to negotiate a fair deal with them for six months before the Oct. 1 deadline. Asking for an extension at this point would be like moving the finish line. They let the agreement expire and in effect, dropped the service.

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