Fox News claims blackout has cost Dish 90K subs

Using an unclear method of data science, 21st Century Fox says that Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has lost 90,000 customers since it removed Fox News from the satellite operator's program guide.

Speaking to Multichannel News, Fox EVP of distribution Tim Carry based the claim on the number of Fox News viewers who have reached out to the website and its associated toll-free numbers.

Tallying 350,000 callers and site visitors, Carry bases the 90,000 calculation on "dwell times" users have spent on these platforms. "We think they've lost about 90,000 subscribers over the past two weeks tied to Fox News," he told Multichannel.

For its part, Dish has dismissed the count as "rumor and speculation."

Fox News and Fox Business Channel have been blacked out on Dish since Dec. 20, with Fox unable to reach a carriage agreement with the pay-TV operator.

Of course, the true damage to Dish's 14 million subscriber base won't be known until Dish delivers its fourth-quarter earnings report in February. And that will only offer a customer snapshot through Dec. 31, 2014.

Based largely on the burgeoning value of its wireless spectrum, Dish has seen its share price increase more than 20 percent over the last year, so it's unclear how much investor faith would be compromised in the event of significant video subscriber losses.

For its part, Fox News' prime-time ratings were down 12 percent year-over-year during Christmas week--a time of traditionally shaky viewership patterns.

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story
- read this International Business Times story

Related links:
Dish replaces Fox News with Glenn Beck's TheBlaze as analysts predict prolonged battle
Fox News blackout of Dish is on: Will Ergen dig his heels in?
Fox News finds new way to scare its viewers, warns of Dish blackout
Fox News fans storm 800 line and website with Dish deal set to expire Saturday
Dish signs retrans renewal with Nexstar, avoids blackout of 60 channels

Suggested Articles

When Charter and Disney earlier this week announced their new carriage agreement, they included news about cooperatively working against video piracy, which…

Cord cutters who opt for streaming video services instead of traditional pay TV will inevitably increase their broadband consumption. But some new research…

A cord-cutting catastrophe struck the U.S. pay TV industry in the second quarter and took a collective 1.53 million subscribers with it. Or maybe not, but it’s…