LOS ANGELES--()--At Midnight, September 30, 2010, DISH Network wrote another chapter in its legendary history of irrational negotiations with television programmers by allowing the expiration of its carriage agreement to carry Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, FX, and National Geographic Channel. On October 31, the satellite operator’s agreement to carry Fox television stations also expires.
“We have made fair and reasonable proposals that are consistent with our agreements with hundreds of other cable and satellite companies with which DISH competes, and they have yet to engage in a constructive dialogue.”
“We’ve been attempting to negotiate with DISH for almost six months,” said Mike Hopkins, President, Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. “We have made fair and reasonable proposals that are consistent with our agreements with hundreds of other cable and satellite companies with which DISH competes, and they have yet to engage in a constructive dialogue.”
Hopkins went on to state that DISH’s press releases are making ridiculous claims. “Their suggestion that we’re seeking a 50 percent increase in programming fees is flatly wrong. It’s completely disingenuous for DISH—a company that is on pace to extract more than $10 billion dollars in revenue and $3 billion in profits from its subscribers—to suggest that we are bullying their customers. Their tactics of promoting untrue accusations and removing programming is standard procedure for them.”
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DISH’s actions will deny fans more than 5,000 live sporting events over the coming year featuring the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and college football and basketball. The 19 Fox regional sports networks that DISH has dropped include: FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Houston, FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports North, FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Tennessee, FOX Sports West, FOX Sports Wisconsin, Prime Ticket, SportSouth, and Sun Sports.
DISH subscribers will also miss some of the most-watched shows on cable, including FX’s Sons of Anarchy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Justified. National Geographic Channel fans will be unable to watch The Dog Whisperer, Border Wars, Locked Up Abroad, and November’s Great Migrations, the channel’s most-anticipated documentary series ever.
If DISH Network decides to no longer carry the Fox Television Stations, viewers in major national markets would lose American Idol, Glee, House, The Simpsons, National Football League games, and the World Series on FOX. DISH’s contract with Fox’s television stations is expiring in the following markets: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Gainesville, FL, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa, and Washington D.C.
DISH has a lengthy history of denying its subscribers the television programming they want. At Midnight last night, DISH dropped MSG Network and MSG Plus. In May of this year, DISH threatened to drop the Weather Channel and currently is keeping the popular Disney HD channels and Fuse Network from its viewers.
In 2004, DISH discontinued carriage of Viacom programming that included MTV, Nickelodeon, and CBS broadcast stations. In 2005, DISH eliminated Outdoor Life Network for six months, and in 2006, it stopped carrying Lifetime Networks.
In 2008, DISH stopped carrying the 20 local television stations owned by Young Broadcasting and Fisher Communications. And DISH has refused to carry the YES Network, the television home of the New York Yankees.
Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing is a unit of Fox Networks Group (FNG) and includes 37 domestic programming services in which FNG holds interests. Together these networks reach more than 550 million subscribing television homes and represent one of the media industry’s largest and most diverse programming groups. Fox Networks Sales and Marketing distributes FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Fox Reality Channel, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, FSN and 19 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus,, Fox College Sports, Fox Deportes and the Big Ten Network (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference). FNG also includes the FOX broadcast network, Fox Digital Media, and Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.