DISH claims that Fox is demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels. It said the programmer is also attempting to force a bundling of its local channels and cable networks in order to get more money from the deal and gain negotiating leverage. In order to avoid a blackout, DISH said it offered Fox a short-term contract extension to Fox that would include a retroactive true-up when new rates were agreed upon.
“Fox had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving its channels up,” DISH svp, programming Andy LeCuyer said in a statement. “Instead, Fox chose to harm its viewers.” READ MORE
Fox aired multiple scripted commercials featuring actors regarding the carriage dispute with Dish, so this is clearly something they’ve been prepared for. When was that taped? When were the scripted commercials taped? Fox has clearly been prepared for Dish Network pulling the channels for a long while, and they’re now putting on an all-out blitz. READ MORE
Fox has started spreading the word that its distribution deal with Altice USA is set to expire in the coming days, warning that a blackout could leave millions of Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers without access to key fall programming. The pact covers the Fox broadcast network, FX, FS1, Nat Geo and other networks, so the dispute threatens big draws like NFL and college football and the upcoming Major League Baseball playoffs.
“We are disappointed that they have started threatening to black out certain channels in an effort to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in new fees from us and our customers,” [Altice’s] statement said. “Programming costs are the greatest contributor to rising cable costs, and we urge Fox to stop its threats and instead focus on negotiating an agreement that is fair for consumers.” READ MORE
Among media companies, “going dark” was once a matter of last resort. Now it’s an option that is seeing more light. If getting top dollar from Madison Avenue has grown more difficult, then media companies are forced to rely more heavily on the retransmission fees they get from cable and satellite operators. READ MORE
Here’s a timeline of price hikes – pieced together using data collected by UBS – that vMVPDs have instituted over the past year and a half. For many of the vMVPDs that began life as bargain alternatives to traditional cable or satellite, the pressure of programming costs and growing channel lineups have led to necessary price increases. READ MORE
Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider. But this particular Disney deal has widespread implications for how future TV carriage deals will be crafted. The outcome could lead to more contentious battles between TV providers and content creators, and perhaps stem the tide of rising cable TV bills. READ MORE
The year is only a little more than halfway over, yet 2019 television blackouts already have reached the previous annual record, according to the American Television Alliance (ATVA). The year already has seen 230 blackouts in which broadcasters block video providers from carrying their content. The previous annual record was set in 2017. Last year’s annual total was 165. READ MORE
Over the past few months, we’ve seen channels dropped across the cable, satellite, and streaming industries — most frequently local channels. While content disputes have happened across locals, sports, and entertainment — its locals and regional sports where the biggest disputes have occurred. And it comes down to costs, at least in terms of locals, for something that previously was free. READ MORE
CBS stations have gone dark on AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse platforms after the two sides failed to come to terms on a new carriage agreement. Stations in more than a dozen cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major markets are impacted, affecting about 6.6 million viewers. READ MORE
“The fact is, only FOX Regional Sports Networks can choose to remove their content from DISH customers,” Dish said on its website. “Sports are the most expensive programming out there, and players’ salaries have increased … That money has to come from somewhere, making sports the most expensive part of customer’s bills.” READ MORE
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen suggested that the blackout of the 21 RSNs and YES Network … could extend indefinitely. “It doesn’t look good that the regional sports will ever be on Dish again,” Ergen said, noting that the high cost of carrying the channels may justify dropping them altogether.
Other than ESPN and its family of spinoff networks, no programming costs cable and satellite TV customers more than the top-tier RSNs. With an average affiliate fee of $6.74 per sub per month, the New York Yankees’ YES Network is the most expensive RSN. Both figures are in stark contrast to the average fee for all nationally-distributed cable channels, which works out to around 30 cents a pop. READ MORE
As with most distribution squabbles, the network has all the leverage. DirecTV subs will bear the brunt of the blowback should fans fear they’re in any danger of missing out on the start of football season. READ MORE
Regional sports networks are are very expensive. They are a good part of the reason cable bills are so high. To cut down on those bills, many people are moving to so-called skinny bundles. These bundles often have ESPN and the major networks, but avoid the RSNs to keep costs down. Even dedicated sports fans seem willing to live without them. READ MORE
Sinclair will likely control distribution for 16 of the 30 major league franchises. That could pose problems for fans trying to watch their favorite team. More worrisome is Sinclair leveraging the RSNs with their other stations. Sinclair has a history of blackouts from when it attempted to utilize the same practices with its prior sports network, the Tennis Channel, resulting in customers losing local programming. READ MORE