Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network went dark Sunday on Dish Network, when the networks were taken down amid stalled contract negotiations over subscription fees, the Associated Press reports.
Dish recently ended a dispute that led to temporary blackouts for some local CBS stations and another blackout that blocked access to some Turner Broadcasting channels.
Both sides are pointing fingers in the Dish-Fox dispute. Dish claims that Fox is blocking access to its networks, while Fox said Dish shut down the server 10 minutes before the contract ended at midnight on Saturday night.
In a statement, Warren Schlichting, Dish’s senior vice president of programming, said: “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. 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.”
Fox News viewers are stepping up to complain about the blackout, with more than 12,000 calls placed to Fox since 6 a.m. Sunday, TVNewser reports. About 7,000 of those callers reportedly asked to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service.
Fox News Executive Vice President of Distribution Tim Carry told TVNewser that Dish has agitated a devoted fan base. “Relative to any other fight they’ve had, they’ve never had a viewer as personally invested as Fox News. Our viewers are invested. They have a personal relationship with us,” Carry said.
About 22,000 emails from viewers have been sent to Dish to complain about the Fox blackout, the story adds.