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Fox: Dish Removes FX, Fox Sports
By Swanni

UPDATED
Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2010) -- A Fox Networks web site is reporting that Dish Network has been forced to remove the Fox-owned FX, National Geographic Channel and 19 Fox regional sports networks from the air.

Fox and Dish have been negotiating for weeks for a new programming agreement. The old agreement expired at 3 a.m. ET.

At GetWhatIPaidFor.com, a web site created by Fox for its fight with Dish, the home page said at 3:01 a.m. that the Fox channels are now off the air on Dish. There was no official confirmation from either Fox or Dish on whether the last minute negotiations failed.

Updated: Dish Network this morning issued a statement confirming that the Fox channels had been removed from its lineup:

"DISH Network is not going to allow FOX or any programmer to bully our customers into paying such an unconscionable price increase," said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for DISH Network, in the statement. "FOX has a long history of trying to shake down pay TV providers, including Cablevision, Time Warner, and Bright House."

During the Fox blackout, Dish said it would make the following channels available to all affected customers at no additional charge:

HD Net Movies, HD Theater, NBA TV, New England Sports Network, NFL Network, NHL Network, Altitude Sports, Big Ten Network, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast Sports Network Mid-Atlantic, Comcast Sports New England, ESPN Classic, FOX Sports Northwest, FOX Sports Pittsburgh, FOX Sports Rocky Mountain, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network2, SportsNet New York, and SportsTime Ohio.

Dish said it launched four web sites to offer more information on the impasse with Fox, including HowMuchMoreCanWeTake.com


If a new agreement is not reached, the Dish blackout will include both the HD and SD version of the Fox channels.

This is not the first time that a network and TV provider has gone to war over programming fees. In fact, in the last year or so, there have been several fee fights that have resulted in either channels being pulled off the air or last minute agreements. (In June, Dish was forced to drop four Disney high-def channels when it could not reach a new carriage agreement with the programmer; the channels are still off the air.)

The Fox web site this morning also was updated to note that Dish will be forced to remove local Fox affiliates from the air on November 1 if a new programming agreement is not reached by then.

TVPredictions.com will have updates on this story later in the day.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

Click TVPredictions.com to read more news and features on TV technology. 

 
 
 
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