Hedging against a protracted carriage battle with Fox News, Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has signed an agreement to carry Glenn Beck's indie conservative channel TheBlaze.
The move comes two weeks after 21st Century Fox pulled Fox News off the program guides of 14 million Dish subscribers.
"Due to circumstances beyond my control, Dish has removed Fox News and given TheBlaze TV their spot in the channel lineup," Beck wrote on his Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) page over the holidays. "That means if you have Dish, you can now watch TheBlaze on channel 212 and channel 205, 100 percent free. I have no idea how long TheBlaze will be on in place of Fox News. But for those of you looking for a channel that shares your values and principles, I hope you will give TheBlaze a chance."
The acquisition of Beck's channel comes amid predictions by analysts that the carriage battle between Dish and Fox could extend for some time.
"They are both founders of their companies and that makes for a tougher negotiation and less backing off any kind of position," Harold Vogel, a veteran Wall Street media analyst, told the Hollywood Reporter.
Vogel believes the clash of two media companies, both led by strong executive presences in the form of Dish chairman Charlie Ergen and Fox chief executive Rupert Murdoch, is unique.
"It is founder against founder," he added. "That's a different dynamic than we've seen in a lot of these fights and it points to a much longer, more brutal battle than we've had in previous similar instances."
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