The war is over! No… not the one in Afghanistan (no matter what the President says), but the lockout between Fox News and Dish Network.
Dish Network Corp. has reached a new distribution agreement with Fox News and is putting the channel back on its satellite-TV service, which has more than 14 million subscribers, the companies said.
Dish was painting a fairly rosy picture of the new agreement which didn’t exactly jibe with some of the feedback we’ve received from Dish subscribers (and former subscribers) during the blackout period.
We are pleased to announce that Fox News and Fox Business have been restored as a result of our reaching a new, long term agreement with Fox.
We know these past few weeks were frustrating and we thank you for your patience as we worked towards an agreement. We were very appreciative of all the comments, both supportive and critical, that our customers sent to DISH and Fox during this time.
For their part, Fox was being fairly magnanimous.
DISH Network L.L.C. and FOX News Network, L.L.C. announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement for carriage of FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network. These channels are now available to DISH customers with qualifying programming packages.
Tim Carry, FOX News and FOX Business executive vice president of distribution, and Warren Schlichting, DISH senior vice president of programming jointly stated:
“We thank the viewers of FOX News and FOX Business and DISH customers for their patience throughout this process.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The terms may not have been disclosed, but reports indicate that Fox came out quite well in the fee negotiations.
Sources familiar with the negotiations, though, maintain the new deal only pertains to the carriage of FNC and FBN. The business channel gained incremental distribution through the pact, advancing to packaging more equivalent to FNC’s For its part, the cable news leader was able to secure a major increase in its monthly license fee, which is among the tops cable in the $1,50 range.
While the temporary loss of Dish customers may have dipped into Fox’s ratings a bit since the blackout started shortly before the end of the year, Dish Network might have been feeling the heat a bit more. Estimates showed that the provider had already lost 90,000 subscribers in the past few weeks, with as many as 350,000 having visited Fox web sites to check out information about other provider options.
Let’s hope that peace prevails in the kingdom for at least a few years after this.