Fox Network’s flagship channel, ‘FOX News’, watched by over 1.81 million Americans was taken off air by the Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH). Both Fox News and Fox Business were taken off the air last night, after the on-going negotiations regarding the re-transmission of Fox’ channels broke down. Although, both the media companies are now facing a stalemate, Tim Carry, the Executive-in-Charge of Fox News’ distribution vertical had stated that both the teams still continue to work round the clock to thrash out an amicably negotiated mutual agreement.
Allegations have flown against each other from both sides of the fences. Dish has labeled the pulling off of air of the two channels as a muscular tactic by the Fox Network to have Dish consent to paying triple the existing rates for Fox’ sports and entertainment channels. On the other hand, Fox representatives have argued that Dish was being ‘intransigent’ in enforcing the existing terms through a short-term extension plan that would not have renewed any of the present terms of re-transmission.
The present stalemate is indicative of the growing pressure on DTH and cable companies, from online streaming services. While earlier favorable carriage rates could be negotiated, as the only pipeline available for media communication are the DTH networks or the cable network.
However, the presence of streaming services has disrupted the ‘carriage’ leverage of the DTH networks. Consequently the media content companies insist on lowering of carriage and re-transmission rates for their channels, at the time the incumbent agreements come up for renewal.
Dish also made clear its discontent for Fox offer to a streaming service for offering Fox’ shows for $5.99 a month. However, Fox has called it as a gamble by taking notice of similar action adopted by Dish in the past few months when it blacked out CNN, Cartoon Network and channels of the CBS Network.