EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the "Got on My Knees to Pray" episode of EMPIRE airing Tuesday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX.
Photo: EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the "Got on My Knees to Pray" episode of EMPIRE airing Tuesday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX./CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX
Photo: EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the "Got on My Knees to Pray" episode of EMPIRE airing Tuesday, Oct. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX./CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Dish subscribers lose Fox in markets such as Atlanta (WAGA-TV Fox 5), New York, L.A., Chicago, Houston, Dallas

Originally posted Monday, September 30, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Dish Network and Sling subscribers have not had access to Fox Sports networks for more than two months. Now add Fox broadcast channels in 16 markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

In Atlanta, that would be WAGA-TV (Fox 5), which would mean subscribers will lose access to shows this week such as “Empire,” “The Masked Singer,” “9-1-1” and Thursday Night Football. If the dispute drags on into the weekend, they could won’t be able to watch three NCAA games Saturday and the Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday. They also lose weekday programming such as “Good Day Atlanta,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “Judge Judy” and “The Real.” 

Of course, Dish and Sling subscribers could get a broadcast antenna and watch Fox that way. 

As usual, both sides are blaming the other as negotiations go public. Fox wants to charge a certain amount and Dish/Sling won’t pay that amount. 

As leverage, the networks have the right to request their programming be pulled off the cable or satellite carrier as a way to pressure them to compromise.

Fox is spinning it like this: “DISH is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers. DISH elected to drop FOX networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH's preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the FOX services are widely available through every other major television provider.”

Dish’s retort: Fox is “demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels” and “attempting to ‘force bundle’ its local channels and unrelated cable networks to get more money and gain negotiating leverage.”

These types of “carriage” battles are now more commonplace as ever as more and more people have stopped paying for satellite or cable networks and are using streaming services instead. This means financial pressure for both Dish and for Fox. 

DirecTV had a case where they pulled CW69 in Atlanta over the summer for 19 daysA similar dispute dragged on for more than two months until September between Dish and Meredith, which owns CBS46. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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