Dish Network and Fox News Settle Carriage Dispute

Fox News Cast - H 2013
Courtesy of Fox News

Fox News Cast - H 2013

Dish will pay a higher subscriber fee per month for Fox News and will give Fox Business an improved channel position, according to a source.

Dish Network and Fox News announced Thursday they have settled their carriage dispute, which means the Fox News Channel will be restored on the satellite service. 

The pact covers a multiyear agreement for carriage of both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel. 

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

However, a source tells The Hollywood Reporter that the Fox News Channel did win an increase in the per subscriber per month payment the 21st Century Fox division receives. The new agreement is believed to extend at least five years. 

In addition, the Fox Business Channel will be moved to the same tier that currently carries Fox News, which is essentially the Dish version of basic cable carriage. Until now Fox Business  has been on a higher tier, which subscribers must elect to receive for an additional fee. 

Fox News and Fox Business will not be on the Dish's upcoming over-the-top service Sling TV, but satellite customers may have TV everywhere rights to the channels, according to the source. 

“We thank the viewers of FOX News and FOX Business and DISH customers for their patience throughout this process," Fox News executive vp Tim Carry and Dish senior vp Warren Schlichting said in a joint statement. 

In the announcement about the settlement, there was no mention of whether Dish has agreed to upgrade Fox’s two recently launched sister networks, Fox Sports 1 and FXX. The two networks had been a major point of disagreement between the satellite service and the cable provider, but apparently are not part of the final agreement. Both channels are already carried on Dish on a tiered level. 

Fox News had been blacked out on Dish since Dec. 22, and the disagreement had gotten very public and quite bitter. Both sides are major players, and they both took a hard line in negotiations.

Both sides were also being hurt. Dish has lost subscribers, and Fox has seen a dip in ratings as a result of not being seen in the 14 million Dish homes. Last week a Fox source estimated Dish had lost 90,000 subscribers in the first two weeks of the blackout. 

In advertisements on Fox TV channels, including Fox Broadcasting, Fox News has urged Dish subscribers to switch to another provider and offered a phone number to assist in the changeover.

On YouTube, Fox's top rated show host Bill O'Reilly was seen urging people to drop Dish because "they are censoring what you see."

As of Thursday the fight and the censuring, if that is what it was, is over. 

Jan. 15, 4:52 p.m. Information was added to an earlier version detailing some terms of the settlement, based on sources. Fox News got an increase in the subscriber fee it collects and Fox Business got an improved channel position on the same tier of service that currently carries Fox News. The story also adds that Fox has estimated 90,000 subscribers dropped Dish in the first two weeks of the blackout. The contract runs at least five years and does not give Dish the right to put Fox News on its new OTT service, Sling TV, according to a source.