One of the noisiest contract disputes in television history is over. Dish Network Corp. reached a carriage agreement with the parent company of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Thursday after more than three weeks of public mudslinging, posturing and finger-pointing.
The multiyear agreement between Dish and Fox News Network LLC -- a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc. -- ends a blackout that had viewers of the popular cable channel flooding Dish with angry phone calls, emails and social media posts.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fox News said Thursday that the channels are now available to Dish subscribers with qualifying packages.
The channels had been blocked from Dish Network’s 14 million subscribers since Dec. 20, with Dish Network accusing Fox of trying to leverage Fox News’ popularity to secure higher programming fees for some of its less popular channels.
The blackout was hurting both sides, with Dish customers canceling subscriptions and demanding refunds, and Fox News seeing a dent in its typically robust ratings. Throughout the contract battle, both sides blamed the other for the blackout.
In a joint statement Thursday, Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution, and Warren Schlichting, senior vice president of programming for Dish, thanked viewers for their patience throughout the process.