It’s the holidays. Can’t we all just get along? For Fox News and Dish Network, the answer is no.
For the third time this month, Dish Network subscribers aren’t able to access certain programs due to a dispute. This time, the problem lies within Dish's relationship with Fox. The channel was pulled from Dish’s lineup shortly after 12:01 a.m. Sunday because Dish’s contract to carry Fox News expired before it could be renewed.
Fox News encouraged fans to switch to another television provider, and the two companies took turns trading insults. Dish replaced Fox News with conservative cable channel The Blaze, a network owned by Glenn Beck. It also replaced the Fox Business channel with CNBC. Fox News has never been blacked out by a major television distributor in its 18-year history.
"Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations," Tim Carry, Fox News executive vice president of distribution, said in a statement early Sunday.
"It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately."
The Fox News blackout comes one month after CNN and a number of other Turner Broadcasting channels returned to Dish. That blackout lasted for one month and negatively affected CNN’s ratings. CBS was blacked out for 12 hours due to a dispute with Dish.
"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," Warren Schlichting, Dish's senior vice president of programming, said in a statement Sunday.
"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. We regret the service disruption to our customers, and remain committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup."