Dish Network Claims ‘Extortion’ in Fox News Carriage Fight

charlie ergen dish network

As the carriage fight between Fox News Channel and Dish Network stretches into its second week, Dish Network chief Charlie Ergen is blaming an “extortion” attempt by Fox for the impasse that led to a blackout in the early hours of Dec. 21.

In a video message posted Dec. 24, Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen (pictured) asserts that the crux of the carriage dispute involving Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network involves the effort by parent company 21st Century Fox to seek a new deal for an “unrelated” channel that would have tripled the rates paid by Dish for that channel. It’s unclear which channel Ergen is referring to but it’s believed to be either FXX or Fox Sports 1, the latest channel relaunches in the 21st Century Fox portfolio.

In a video message posted late on Dec. 24, Ergen emphasized that Fox News was being “held hostage” to a demand for carriage fee hikes for an “unrelated channel.” Ergen claimed Fox was seeking fee hikes despite the fact that Dish’s contract for the other channel “would not have expired for some time.”

“Ironically, Fox News would be the first network to decry this kind of dealmaking,” Ergen said in the vidclip. “There’s nothing about this extortion attempt that was fair or balanced.”

Ergen emphasized that he believes “it’s important for Dish to fight in these situations” because “it is  you the customer who would ultimately pay the price” for a carriage fee hike.

In a statement, Fox responded by noting the high volume of carriage fights that Dish has been involved with in recent months, including blackouts involving CBS and Turner Broadcasting channels.

Dish and Fox have been at odds over who is to blame for Fox News going dark in the wee hours of Dec. 21. Fox News maintains that Dish pulled the plug, while Dish insists that Fox News would not agree to a short-term extension amid negotiations on the night of Dec. 20 to avoid a blackout.

“Since Dish dropped Fox News, Dish has focused on shifting blame instead of getting Fox News back on the air. But the facts speak for themselves – Dish has blocked more than 10 channels in the last six months alone,” Fox News said in a statement Friday. “We continue to work on resolving this situation, but until Dish is responsive, we are unable to update you on when Fox News will be available.”

Fox News has the kind of engaged fan base that has flooded Dish Network with calls and emails since the channel went dark on the satcaster. By Fox News’ count, more than 178,00 calls of complaint have been registered with the toll-free line Fox established for the Dish fight, along with 140,000-plus emails.

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  1. preuser says:

    Yes lots of incomplete coverage,omissions and deliberate left wing ‘progressive ‘ bias and intolerance on most of the other channels with MSNBC /NBC being among the worst offenders !

    Political correctness kills !

  2. william hall says:

    Fox and Dish are making plenty of money, let us poor people on fixed incomes see our Fox news, we already pay enough, and have to watch commercials !!!!!

  3. preuser says:

    I’m waiting for them to get back on Dish also in the interim the Fox News and Fox Business channel on Roku both have news clips and show clips and some show episodes you can play them individually or consecutively.The Websites are another interim alternative also .

  4. Hazel Sorensen says:

    I am REALLY missing Fox News. I watch it almost exclusively, although my husband watches other news channels too. Please settle this soon. I am having trouble accepting what is presented on other news channels

  5. Jim LaMotte says:

    We are very dedicated viewers of Fox News and Fox Business, It is our hope these programs will soon be back and available on Dish.

  6. billy ryan says:

    Way to stay focused, soldier. Keep those blinders on and move! Just ignore what was actually said and repeat what you have been told. Rupert has never been so proud.

    I christen thee “Son’s of Murdoch”. Now go forth and practice more of the critical thinking that has served you so well, my boy. What!?

  7. billy ryan says:

    It is so funny the number of Fox watchers who write as if this is Dish costumer service. Maybe the editors of Variety have a second gig?

    “Hey, you in there! In the little box. Stop sending me the bill. It’s too much. I’ll be a little late this month, okay? “

  8. lindarm says:

    DISH !!!! ITS WHAT’S NOT FOR DINNER.

  9. JR BRIDGES says:

    Work it out or we are leaving Are you cutting prices since we can’t get fox news

  10. Ron Timme says:

    Dishnet is not treating it’s customers right and Fox News isn’t being fair and balanced to it’s viewers Both are greedy WORK it out!!!

  11. Jearldean says:

    I think this is a bunch if BS and i am checking into a new provider.

  12. D. Story says:

    Roll Fox in a ball and Flush the News censoring garbage.

  13. Mark Davis says:

    Just digging your grave deeper. i know you are lying! I watch ABC, NBC. CBS and Fox! Fox tells the whole story while the other three do their best to prevent anything negative about the democrats and liberals in general! Oh yea FOX is NUMBER 1 in ratings!

  14. preuser says:

    No ……………….libtard ! :)

  15. preuser says:

    Typical libtard comment ……………maybe they should block CNN and MSNBC also bot no NSNBC is good comedy and CNN is somewhere to the left of middle adhering to the 1st amendment even libtards should be able watch something .

  16. Vayva says:

    Get rid of Charles Ergen!
    FOX NEWS is numer 1; I’m not going to be without it! If Charlie Boy can’t get his act together and keep Fox News instead of having all the other “crap” like, Gangland, drug wars, and all the talk shows for “airheads”… Can’t Ergan be a
    Better business man for this country and help us be enlightened everyday with Fox?

  17. Liberals keep saying FNC lies and misinforms viewers. I ask, in the past 30 days name one, and not the lies that the lefties put out on a daily bases. Just asking, I want to be more informed, not indoctrinated by the left of right. Give some legitimate examples without going back years.

    • Billy Ryan says:

      MEGYN KELLY
      A new Colorado law “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers, then encourages them to turn ballots over to ‘collectors.’ ”

      GEORGE WILL
      Some doctors say Ebola can be transmitted through the air by “a sneeze or some cough.”

      TONY PERKINS
      “We know from the social science that children do best with a mom and a dad.”

      PETER KING
      “In 2011, (the Islamic State) attempted to attack Fort Knox.”

      I could go on for days. These comment are all untrue yet reported as fact.

      • Mark Davis says:

        Four stories out of tens of thousands reported on FOX. Apparently if someone sneezes on you that has Ebola you can catch it! Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion. Mucus droplets are ejected when you sneeze.
        That being said the other stories you speak of were retracted. Just as all the networks have had to do on many stories. ALL THE NETWORKS ARE GUILTY OF REPORTING STORIES INCORRECTLY! Due to their rush to beet the competition. What about that Rolling Stone rape story. All the networks reported it as fact. then it fell apart! 60 Minutes apologizes for Benghazi report – CBS News. NBC, CBS quickly retract ID of Navy Yard shooter – USA Today Two months after Tony Scott’s suicide, ABC News retracts story. CNN, other outlets report—and then retract—arrest in Boston Marathon bombings. The list goes on and on for all the mainstream media news outlets! There literately thousands of retractions by all the networks. they all make mistakes. The difference between FOX and the others is the others do not report all the stories that are negative to democrats, liberals, Muslims and Obama Also all four of those stories were reported as news about by the competition. They like to point the finger but hate it when it points back to them. Since you don’t watch FOX you don’t know about the retractions. Apparently you are oblivious to all the false stories told by the other news outlets. If you did you would not be on your high horse!

  18. If I can’t get FOX news on Dish, I’ll probably have to change my network provider. There’s no news to watch other than FOX in my opinion. No FOX, no Dish………….I need Fox News now!!

  19. billy ryan says:

    I cross my fingers that Fox never get back on Dish. Best thing that has happened to TV since color.

  20. EUGENE AND FRANCES JOHNSON says:

    we want our fox news back you keep saying you are getting it done but we don’t see any progress in the meantime we don’t have a decent news channel you should be thinking of the customers you have had for years we want fox news BACK NOW

  21. Mike says:

    The real losers are the viewers who paid for a service and are not getting that service, going on way too long ,at this point don’t care who is at fault ,, takes two to tangle! Get it fixed.

  22. preuser says:

    Could be both sides have legitimate issues neither company is what one would consider benevolent and each is spinning it their way .
    That being said I will be glad when they settle up .

  23. alex says:

    I love fox news. I don’t blame Dish for what their doing. It’s just plain Greed! !!!! On Fox.

  24. No. That is private information says:

    Bout time somebody shut down the biggest source of misinformation in the mediascape today. Fox News is not news, it is infotainment calculated to misinform in order to promote a political agenda.

    • preuser says:

      That’s what the Ivy league libtards at CNN and even more so MSNBC would have you belive if you are addicted to their failed progressive narratives both services are circling the toilet ratings wise and financially CNN and MSNBC are constantly re structuring because of their repeated failures The Folks have already decided !

      • billy ryan says:

        Can you make even one comment without resorting to name calling? You should watch Al Jazeera America.

  25. Curtis Hatton says:

    Consumers need to call there congress and get a bill passed, that enables you to only pay for programming that you view, that would put most socialist liberal program companies out of business,
    I do not like supporting a bunch of lowlife perverts , let me choose where my money goes. Curtis Hatton

  26. Char says:

    We are so sick of paying for channels we don’t want it’s pretty disgusting when you have no choice in getting what you do want…….and dish keeps right on raising the premiums regardless!, one again, screw the consumer!

    • Roger Jones says:

      You are seriously uninformed. The problem is not Dish, Direct or big Cable.The problem is the content providers that bundle channels together and will not sell individual channels. The viewing public would like to buy each channel separately, but the content providers are forcing us to choose between buy a dozen channels or none.

  27. Thank you disk for trying to save us working people money, I,ve had dish for years and if you got a problem all you have to to is call them and they will help you. I like fox news but I have got to say its there way or no way so I don’t see it so balance or fair but I got to say they will tell the news and that’s all I want here is the news and other bs they talk about I could care less it hurts their show

  28. robbie says:

    We are a long time subscriber to Dish for both our TV and internet. Living in the country you have few options. I have no desire to change. There are a lot of crap channels on Dish like MSNBC and others that are rarely watched. Get rid of those and get our prime news channel back!

  29. S. Aikens says:

    Dear Allsatnet,
    So for the 3 weeks Dish has saved money NOT paying Fox News channel, are they going to pass those savings on to us as well??? Since of course you said they are in this fight to save us an increase. Does that work both ways?? Fair? Balanced?
    I was told they were NOT going to credit my account.

  30. Leann anderson says:

    In my area 4 offer Fox News in their tv package. Everyone made an offer to buy out my dish contract. I have no contract only a 18 year customer. If you do have a contract check for your best deal and see who will buy out your contract.

  31. allsatnet says:

    Here is a completely honest way explain it with no BS; Every year or 2 (sometimes as long as 5), the carrier and provider have to sign a new “carriage” contract. The amount of money that dish pays any of their providers are based upon how many people watch the channel (based upon Nielsen ratings). In this instance Fox is asking for more than what their channels are worth. For example, let’s say CNN has 20 million viewers on average and asks for X amount of dollars per subscriber. Fox on the other hand has 40 million subscribers on average. They should fairly be able to ask for 2X amount of dollars per subscriber. However, Fox is asking for 3 times X per subscriber. This is neither fair nor balanced! If Dish were to pay this, they would have to pass on this increase to their customers. As someone who enjoys Fox News, this may be okay with you. However, what about those that don’t? Why should their rates increase simply because a station (that they don’t enjoy as much as you) pay extra so that you can have it? Dish wants to provide all it’s subscribers with the channels that they watch most at an affordable price. Do you really think that Dish doesn’t want the most popular news channel as part of their lineup? I am sure they will work it our sooner or later (sooner I hope). If you want to see what dishes CEO has to say about it, tune to channel 204 and listen to his explanation. Hope this clears up how it works and what’s going on…

  32. CJ Lange says:

    You sir are probably the one who has committed extortion. Perhaps you should be investigated.

  33. Steve Fenter says:

    Wrote dishnetwork thanking them for removing foxnews from my programming. I have no interest in watching any of their propaganda and should not have to pay for it. I told them they should make Fox pay for view. Those that want it, should pay extra for it.

  34. T om Sobecki says:

    COMCAST has the FOX news channels ……………………….

  35. Sheryl Schultz says:

    Called Dish wanting out of my contract since no Fox since December20th. Was told would cost me 420.00 due to canceling earlier. Breaking my contract. Seems your contract is one sided you offered Fox when I subscribed with your company and now that program is not available. I will cancel effective January 15th and pay your high fee. But I assure you I will never be a customer again.

  36. Karen Filbert says:

    You have broken your contract with us by not supplying us with the Fox’s News Channels. Put on your big boy pants and give us back the programs we are paying for.

    • I get Fox news or i’m gone.

      • billy ryan says:

        There is no shortage of Murdoch owned news for you to turn to. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Go. Be free.

      • allsatnet says:

        It’s not that easy. Here is a better way to explain it; Every year or 2 (sometimes as long as 5), the carrier and provider have to sign a new “carriage” contract. The amount of money that dish pays any of their providers are based upon how many people watch the channel (based upon Nielsen ratings). In this instance Fox is asking for more than what their channels are worth. For example, let’s say CNN has 20 million viewers on average and asks for X amount of dollars per subscriber. Fox on the other hand has 40 million subscribers on average. They should fairly be able to ask for 2X amount of dollars per subscriber. However, Fox is asking for 3 times X per subscriber. This is neither fair nor balanced! If Dish were to pay this, they would have to pass on this increase to their customers. As someone who enjoys Fox News, this may be okay with you. However, what about those that don’t? Why should their rates increase simply because a station (that they don’t enjoy as much as you) pay extra so that you can have it? Dish wants to provide all it’s subscribers with the channels that they watch most at an affordable price. Do you really think that Dish doesn’t want the most popular news channel as part of their lineup? I am sure they will work it our sooner or later (sooner I hope). If you want to see what dishes CEO has to say about it, tune to channel 204 and listen to his explanation. Hope this clears up how it works and what’s going on…

  37. preuser says:

    Heads up to Dish subs. about missing Fox News channels and billing credit :

    FWIW A couple of weeks ago I went to DISH Stands For You .com. to politely let them know I was pissed about losing the Fox News channels and that if they didn’t eventually settle with FNC/FBC/FSC etc. unfortunately I would be changing services .

    Dish just emailed me and provided a one time $50.00 bill credit .

    I Don’t know how widespread this is although they did mention the feedback I left

    • Steve Fenter says:

      Ha ha ha..I did the same thing only thanking them for removing Fox and telling them they should not give in to their extortion. I got $50 off my bill too!

  38. Diana Domingo says:

    Dish Network is horrible…service is bad and now they close out Fox News!! Don’t sign their contracts they don’t fulfill their obligations!!

  39. linda says:

    What are other carriers paying fox. Get it back now!

  40. linda says:

    Sweat are other carriers p

  41. Bob Guy says:

    By virtue of a clause in the DISH contract, mandating premature cancellation fees, I suggest that DISH is the one guilty of “extortion”, NOT FNC.

    • allsatnet says:

      Really Bob? Dish, Direct and most pay TV providers have you sign a contract. The reason they do so is to recoup the initial costs. When you become a new subscriber they: #1 Pay the sales agent a minimum of $300 for the sale (can be up to $800) #2 They provide you with brand new satellite equipment (receivers, dish and LNB… This could be anywhere between $160 (minimum) to $1000.) #3 They then have to pay to have someone install your system. They recoup their initial investment in you as a new customer around month 16. However, you do not have to sign a contract (you can buy all of your equipment and pay a $99 installation fee) As for the whole Fox News thing; Here is a better way to explain it; Every year or 2 (sometimes as long as 5), the carrier and provider have to sign a new “carriage” contract. The amount of money that dish pays any of their providers are based upon how many people watch the channel (based upon Nielsen ratings). In this instance Fox is asking for more than what their channels are worth. For example, let’s say CNN has 20 million viewers on average and asks for X amount of dollars per subscriber. Fox on the other hand has 40 million subscribers on average. They should fairly be able to ask for 2X amount of dollars per subscriber. However, Fox is asking for 3 times X per subscriber. This is neither fair nor balanced! If Dish were to pay this, they would have to pass on this increase to their customers. As someone who enjoys Fox News, this may be okay with you. However, what about those that don’t? Why should their rates increase simply because a station (that they don’t enjoy as much as you) pay extra so that you can have it? Dish wants to provide all it’s subscribers with the channels that they watch most at an affordable price. Do you really think that Dish doesn’t want the most popular news channel as part of their lineup? I am sure they will work it our sooner or later (sooner I hope). If you want to see what dishes CEO has to say about it, tune to channel 204 and listen to his explanation. Hope this clears up how it works and what’s going on…

  42. David says:

    “extortion attempt” Looks more like “censorship” attempt.

  43. Mary Hoffman says:

    I will be cancelling Dish if Fox News is no longer an option!
    Fox is the only News I follow.

  44. Just Jill says:

    Looks last like everyone is standing together on this, no Fox…no DirectTV

  45. wallace peterson says:

    You have been bought by Obama minions… Bring back FOX News or you will lose 90,000 + 1 subscribers. Remember, FOX was a part of our contract that you violated…

    • allsatnet says:

      Wallace, have you read the contract that you signed? Particularly the part that says that you understand that Dish can change packages, pricing or channels at anytime? This is also part of EVERY pay TV providers contract. Losing channels we love truly sucks. I’m pissed too. But you have to seriously consider the fact that Dish gains nothing by dropping Fox. So, why would they drop it? Here is a very honest explanation; Every year or 2 (sometimes as long as 5), the carrier and provider have to sign a new “carriage” contract. The amount of money that dish pays any of their providers are based upon how many people watch the channel (based upon Nielsen ratings). In this instance Fox is asking for more than what their channels are worth. For example, let’s say CNN has 20 million viewers on average and asks for X amount of dollars per subscriber. Fox on the other hand has 40 million subscribers on average. They should fairly be able to ask for 2X amount of dollars per subscriber. However, Fox is asking for 3 times X per subscriber. This is neither fair nor balanced! If Dish were to pay this, they would have to pass on this increase to their customers. As someone who enjoys Fox News, this may be okay with you. However, what about those that don’t? Why should their rates increase simply because a station (that they don’t enjoy as much as you) pay extra so that you can have it? Dish wants to provide all it’s subscribers with the channels that they watch most at an affordable price. Do you really think that Dish doesn’t want the most popular news channel as part of their lineup? I am sure they will work it our sooner or later (sooner I hope). If you want to see what dishes CEO has to say about it, tune to channel 204 and listen to his explanation. Hope this clears up how it works and what’s going on…

  46. Ronald DeSalles says:

    Extortion is what All Sharpton does. Not FNC.

  47. Ron says:

    Hang in there Dish Network – I am a subscriber who doesn’t like the blatant lies and apparent racism fox news presents to viewers. “Fair and Balanced” is one of Fox’s major lies!

  48. Breaking Bad says:

    I left Dish a couple of years ago because of the same problem they were having with AMC. This doesn’t happen as much with real companies.

    • allsatnet says:

      Have you considered exploring the facts? ALL pay TV providers have at one time or another, dropped certain channels because they couldn’t reach a carrier agreement. You may not have been aware of this since you would only know of the channels that your current provider has or doesn’t have. I have worked for Dish, Direct and multiple cable TV providers over the years. They are (mostly) pretty upstanding companies. To say that they are somehow not a “real” company simply because they are having trouble reaching a new contract is neither a fair or balanced opinion to share.

  49. Linda Simonyan says:

    Canselling Dish today. Fox news is my only source fir the news. There is no other option. Very unhappy about this situation.

  50. Barbara Allison says:

    I take Fox News word any day over Dish.

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