Spin Control…

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella does FNC’s bidding in its renegotiation war with Dish Network by duly trotting out these numbers without context…

Since late Saturday night, talks have stopped. Fox News EVP of distribution Tim Carry tells TVNewser “our phone line is open, we’re willing to talk. Am I negotiating right now? I’m not.”

Fox viewers, however, are fully engaged. Since 6 a.m. Sunday, over 12,000 calls have been placed to Fox–and 7,000 of them asked to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service. The network reports 22,000 viewer emails have been sent to Dish to object to the Fox blackout, and viewers have swarmed the Dish Facebook page. Fox’s Carry says Dish has agitated a very powerful audience. “Relative to any other fight they’ve had, they’ve never had a viewer as personally invested as Fox News. Our viewers are invested. They have a personal relationship with us.”

Um…yeah.

Let’s see… 12,000 calls out of a 14 Million user subscriber base…that’s .085%. 22,000 emails out of said base is much better. It’s a whopping 0.15%. This is of course assuming that every one of those calls and email complaints is actually a Dish subscriber.

Oh, I almost forgot. There were also 7,000 who wanted to cancel their service as a result which is .05% of Dish’s customers…which for Dish is the equivalent of a rounding error.

That’s some agitation going on over there…wake me when it gets to .2% of Dish’s subscribers, okay?

To be fair, it’s early and it’s a Sunday. Things may change dramatically come Monday when FNC’s regular M-Fr schedule kicks in. Then again it may not because it’s the holiday season and that’s historically been a low point in viewership for the year for everyone except football fans. There may not be real movement on a new deal until after New Years Day.

Dish, however, insists it’s Fox that has forced the two sides apart. “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,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish Network’s SVP of programming. “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.”

Fox argues Dish has simply failed to change with the times–which are changing dramatically.”When you won’t accept that businesses evolve, that relationships and partnerships evolve. And the way we deliver content changes. And we both need to adapt. Dish hasn’t changed its packaging since 1993. That kind of marketing and that kind of packaging is outdated.”

Translation: We know we can’t get those rates on those other channels on their own so we’re going to extort the providers by threatening to withold FNC and FBN. But extortion is such a dirty word we shall rephrase it as needing to adapt to changing times.

Carry says Fox’s negotiating team knew this would be tough, deciding to do something they’d never done before: warn viewers they might lose their access to Fox News. “That’s why we messaged out seven days ago that this might happen.” Fox fans got the message, and they are clearly in action.

Did Carry negotiate on behalf of the Weather Channel earlier this year? That last sentence sure makes it sound like he did…

Correction: I goofed on my decimal places yesterday. Math was never my strong suit. The numbers were two decimal places deeper than they should have been and obviously I regret the error…and never making it past Trig in college. The numbers have been corrected to reflect this.

3 Responses to “Spin Control…”

  1. “There were also 7,000 who wanted to cancel their service as a result which is .0005% of Dish’s customers…which for Dish is the equivalent of a rounding error.”

    ^^I imagine only a small fraction of those threating to cancel their satellite service would actually follow through. It’s a major pain to change providers; particularly considering the situation is likely to fixed in a day or so. Threating to cancel service is, however, an easy thing to do.

  2. The Dish Network has also played hardball over carriage fees with CBS, Turner Broadcasting and NBC Sports claiming higher programming costs will lead to higher bills for their customers. I am not saying I necessarily believe them. But this is what they claim.

    Ratings are flat and cord cutting is accelerating as more people in the U.S. turn to Internet services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to watch their favorite programs.

    About 150,000 pay-TV customers canceled video service in the three months that ended June 30, according to estimates published by the Leichtman Research Group.

    I am optimistic that they will reach a mutually satisfactory agreement as was the case with CBS and Turner.

  3. I’m sure they will.

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