Dish Wins…Sort Of…

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint writes about the end of the impasse between Dish Network and Fox…

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. However, people familiar with the talks said Dish is paying a significant increase for Fox News, which is one of the most popular networks, not just among news channels but entertainment and sports services as well. According to research firm SNL Kagan, the average monthly fee for Fox News is currently about $1.00 per subscriber. Under terms of the new pact, the price Dish would pay would rise to an average fee of around $1.50 per-subscriber, per-month, people familiar with the matter said.

Dish is also going to distribute Fox Business Network to more of its subscribers, the people said, and give it a channel position near Fox News as part of the agreement.

Dish had complained that 21st Century Fox was trying to leverage negotiations for Fox News and Fox Business for better deals for other channels whose contracts weren’t up yet. The new agreement only covers these two channels and no other 21st Century Fox networks.

So who won? Ostensibly, Dish…but the margin of victory was slimmer than you might think. Dish didn’t want any other 21st Century Fox networks part of the negotiation, specifically Fox Sports 1, and it got those terms. No doubt every other distributor will take note of this when it comes time for them to negotiate new deals which won’t give 21st Century Fox any leverage in trying a similar tactic with them.

But FNC got a 50% increase on its subscriber rate and FBN got expanded distribution which I would guess means taking making available on lower priced tiers and putting it closer to FNC on the channel guide.

So both sides make out to some extent.


5 Responses to “Dish Wins…Sort Of…”

  1. I agree Spud. FNC was always going to get a rate increase and $1.00 to $1.50 seems fare. It has lots of loyal subscribers and we are just entering the next POTUS election cycle. The real battle was in getting better slots and rate increases for lesser Fox properties and that seems to have been a mixed bag.

    The thing is all the distributers are losing subscribers and that’s a trend that’s not likely to end anytime soon. Fox wanted to secure distribution for it’s fringe channels before their existing deals were up and, with the minor exception of FBN, that battle Dish won. I’d call it 70%-30% in Dish’s favor.

  2. Huh, so it was a negotiation all along. Weird..I could’ve sworn Fox said “censorship”…

  3. Good analysis, fritz!

  4. I agree Fritz. Spud, is there an option to just like comments?

  5. I don’t think that the “winner” can be determined yet. If the deal offered was for “better deals for other channels whose contracts weren’t up yet”, and Fox didn’t have to give up anything for those channels to get this deal, then the end game will depend on what those channels will be negotiated for when their respective times come.

    Fox Sports channels… I don’t know, an awful lot of people will switch providers if they can’t watch their favourite games.

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