What could possibly be more fun than watching two corporations publicly slam each other?
DISH fires a press released shot across the bow:
DISH Network L.L.C. reports today that FOX Networks is blocking DISH Network's access to 19 FOX Regional Sports Networks and other programming. FOX is demanding a new contract with an unprecedented rate increase of more than 50 percent. FOX's removal of the channels follows the programmer's national TV, print and web advertising campaign designed to intimidate DISH Network and its customers into paying the rate increase. FOX has flatly refused DISH Network's request to allow customers to continue to watch these FOX channels during the negotiations.
"DISH Network is not going to allow FOX or any programmer to bully our customers into paying such an unconscionable price increase," said Dave Shull, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network. "FOX has a long history of trying to shake down pay TV providers, including Cablevision, Time Warner, and Bright House.
Fox is not going to take that and fires right back with a press release of their own:
"We've been attempting to negotiate with DISH for almost six months," said Mike Hopkins, President, Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. "We have made fair and reasonable proposals that are consistent with our agreements with hundreds of other cable and satellite companies with which DISH competes, and they have yet to engage in a constructive dialogue."
Hopkins went on to state that DISH's press releases are making ridiculous claims. "Their suggestion that we're seeking a 50 percent increase in programming fees is flatly wrong. It's completely disingenuous for DISH-a company that is on pace to extract more than $10 billion dollars in revenue and $3 billion in profits from its subscribers-to suggest that we are bullying their customers. Their tactics of promoting untrue accusations and removing programming is standard procedure for them."
Good luck with your silly press release war, gentleman. Just remember that while your flacks are crafting public barbs, your customers are getting screwed. Remember them?