Fox News and Dish Network are engaged in a staring contest and no one is blinking.
In a dispute over programming fees, Dish Network, a satellite TV company, dropped Fox News Channel (FNC) and Fox News Business from their channel lineup on Dec. 21 and it’s having repercussions on the ratings.
Sadly, FNC has been the most-watched news channel for 13 years straight, but in just under two weeks since the blackout, Nielsen ratings shows viewership has dipped from an average of 1.5-1.6 million primetime viewers to 939,000 primetime this week.
The Nielsen data also shows ratings are down 12 percent when compared to this week last year.
The talking heads at Fox have been advising their viewers to write or call the company to demand FNC back. However, according to the contract customers sign, Dish Network is within their rights to drop any channel they want from their lineup, so customers demanding their money back during the blackout are getting little to nothing in return.
The Dish Network Facebook page is inundated with unhappy conservatives who are boycotting or threatening to boycott the network.
Meanwhile, the two companies have been busy pointing the finger at one another.
The Senior Vice President of Dish programming, Warren Schlichting, said in a statement:
It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the Realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well. Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.
However, the Vice President of Fox News, Tim Carry, said:
Fox News Channel did not disconnect Dish, rather, Dish prematurely ceased distribution of Fox News in an attempt to intimidate and sway our negotiations. It is unfortunate that the millions of Fox News viewers on Dish were used as pawns by their provider. Hopefully they will vote with their hard earned money and seek another one of our other valued distributors immediately.
At press time, there was no resolution in sight between the two businesses.
In the meantime, Foxbots can enjoy Newsmax and The Blaze in place of their regular conservative propaganda-machine programming.