Already adept at scaring its rapt audience, Fox News has begun warning Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) subscribers that the channel, along with Fox Business News, could disappear from their program guides "any day now."
The campaign features the usual TV spots, directing viewers to visit the "protest the operator" website, in this case KeepFoxNews.com.
Fox's post urged Dish subscribers to call the satellite operator. (Source: KeepFoxNews.com)
A Fox News blog post notes, "Despite the undeniable demand for Fox News Channel, Dish Network is threatening to put their corporate interests ahead of their customers, by blocking the most-trusted name in cable news. But viewers have a choice: they can find out about TV providers in their area that will continue to carry Fox News."
Responding via its customer service account on Twitter, Dish said, "Fox is making unreasonable financial demands." But, Dish added, "we have had a productive relationship with Fox for many years and are confident we can reach an agreement."
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Discussing the pulling of CNN (which has since been restored) during Dish's third-quarter earnings report in October, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen openly pondered the future of cable news networks amid burgeoning Internet-based competition.
Fox chief executive Rupert Murdoch, meanwhile, contributed his own rhetoric, telling his investors "there is no way" Ergen would challenge Fox News in negotiations.
Despite clearing several big retrans renewal deals off its plate, Dish still has long-term agreements to work out with Turner Networks and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) regional sports networks.
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