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DISH, Fox In Dispute Over New Contract, Pull Networks

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DISH Network announced that millions of its customers lost access to Fox Corp.'s local channels in 17 markets across 23 states and the District of Columbia. Fox has also blocked access to the customers of its online service Sling TV.

The move follows the companies' dispute over new contract as viewers head into the NFL and college football season.

DISH noted that Fox rejected offer to a short term contract extension as they were getting into a mutual agreement to renew carriage of its local stations.

Meanwhile, Fox in its statement said that DISH and Sling dropped its networks in an effort to coerce to agree to outrageous demands.

According to DISH, Fox removed cable networks FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, and is asking for double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels. DISH further alleged that Fox is attempting to "force bundle" its local channels and unrelated cable networks to get more money and gain negotiating leverage.

Dish said Fox executives at its May investor day promoted their plan to increase retransmission revenue by 62 percent, to $2.6 billion by 2022.

Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of Programming, said, "Fox's actions are profoundly anti-consumer. Fox is raising prices and turning its back on its public obligation to provide channels to consumers for free. It's clear that Fox cares more about padding its bottom line than serving its viewers.... We ask Fox to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal."

DISH's affected customers can view NFL games using an over-the-air antenna or stream local and most prime time games for free on mobile phones and tablets via the NFL App.

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