Dish customers now without Fox network, sports channels

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Fox’s cable sports networks and some local Fox stations have gone dark for customers of satellite TV provider Dish because of a dispute over the networks’ cost. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

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Dish satellite customers are now without Fox’s cable sports networks and some local Fox stations because of a dispute over the networks’ cost.

Dish said the broadcast network was pulled in 17 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.

Fox News, however, remains on Dish.

Customers of the Sling streaming service are also affected.

“Dish/Sling is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers,” Fox said in a statement, via Josh Ourand of the Sports Business Journal. “Dish/Sling elected to drop Fox networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH/Sling’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the Fox services are widely available through every other major television provider.”

These types of blackouts have become increasingly common as broadcasters seek to charge cable and satellite TV providers more. Those costs eventually show up on customers’ bills.

“Fox’s actions are profoundly anti-consumer,” Dish executive Andy LeCuyer told Ourand. “Fox is raising prices and turning its back on its public obligation to provide channels to consumers for free. It’s clear that Fox cares more about padding its bottom line than serving its viewers.

“To add insult to injury, Fox pulled its channels right as viewers head into the heart of the NFL and college football season. We ask Fox to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal.”

Dish is offering affected customers antennas for the Fox network.

Earlier this month, the SEC took to social media to warn its fans of a potential blackout on DirecTV and AT&T of ESPN and the SEC Network

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.

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