DISH Network, Fox Nail Down Retrans Pact

Two weeks into its stalemate with Cablevision, Fox sidestepped another retransmission consent battle by hashing out a new deal with DISH Network.

The agreement not only keeps Fox’ 25 TV stations lit up in DISH Network homes, but also restores FX, National Geographic Channel and the 19 regional sports nets that went dark on Oct. 1 when the cable carriage deal expired.

The original retrans pact was set to run out Sunday at midnight. Some 4 million DISH Net subs reside in markets served by one of the Fox stations. All told, the satcaster serves 14.3 million households nationwide.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

At the time the Fox cable channels went dark on DISH, the satcaster claimed that News Corp. was looking to secure a rate hike of 50 percent. Fox said the figure was inaccurate.

“After prolonged negotiations to reach a fair deal, we’re pleased to enter into a long-term agreement with Fox and to assure our customers that they can continue to enjoy these channels,” said Dave Shull, svp, programming for DISH Network.
The new deal ensures that subs will continue to enjoy access to Fox’ presentation of the 2010 World Series. The San Francisco Giants head to Texas with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series; Game 3 airs live from Arlington at 6:30 p.m., making it the earliest start of a Fall Classic broadcast since 1987.

While Fox was able to come to terms with DISH Net, negotiations with Cablevision remain at a standstill. Now in its 14th day, the spat has deprived 3 million Cablevision customers of Fox programming, including two Sundays of NFL football and the first two games of the World Series.