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Dish Steps Into the Fee Fight Ring Again

In what seems like weekly news now, DISH Network in embroiled in another fee fight with a content provider that could leave viewers in the dark in less than a week. As has become common in these fights, both sides are taking the fight public, something that was unheard of 10 years ago when two companies were involved in contract negotiations with one another.

This time DISH has put the gloves on and stepped into the ring with FOX. The carrier agreement that DISH has with FOX ends this coming Saturday night at midnight, and if a new agreement can not be reached by then, viewers will no longer have access to the FOX News channel and the FOX Business channel.

DISH has been sending out massive amounts of tweets claiming that while FOX is asking for too much money, they are sure that a deal can and will be worked out between the two before the deadline. FOX on the other hand has begun using the tactics that several other content providers have used in recent carrier agreement negotiations. Commercials started airing on FOX Sunday evening warning DISH customers of the possibility that they would no longer have the ability to view these channels in the near future.

FOX’s use of the impending doom and gloom tactics also led them to set up a website, keepfoxnews.com urging customers to call DISH to express their displeasure at the thought of losing the news channels. According to Mediabistro.com over 20,000 people called the 1-800 number provided on the FOX commercials, and over 75,000 have visited the website set up by FOX.

One thing that stands out in this fee fight is that the website set up by FOX is actually telling viewers to look for other cable or sat providers in their area besides DISH. There is a section on the site that allows a visitor to put in their zip code and the site will look up what other companies are available to the visitor that carries the FOX News channels. This goes well beyond what any other content provider has done in terms of trying to force DISH Network’s hand in negotiations.

Will this tactic work in FOX’s favor? Or will their attempt at getting DISH customers to jump ship backfire against them? More than likely, as we have seen in the other recent fee fights DISH has been involved in, an agreement between the two media giants will be reached in time which will keep the FOX News channels on air for customers to view.

This new trend we have seen emerge over the past year of doom and gloom style proclamations of content blackouts every time a carrier agreement comes up for renegotiation is honestly getting old. Throw in the fact that these companies are now taking public what was once considered to be a private matter between two companies also shows that they are both desperate for attention and feel the need to make a show of matters that are not nearly as desperate as the two companies want them to seem to be.

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