Fox renews carriage deal with Dish
MUMBAI: In a deal that will avert the prospect of Fox facing another station blackout when its previous pact with Dish expires on Monday, Fox has come to terms with the latter on a mammoth carriage deal covering FX, National Geographhic Channel, 19 regional sports networks and retransmission consent for Fox's 27 broadcast TV stations.
FX and the regional sports signals went off Dish as of 1 October when both the sides could not come to terms on renewal of their earlier pact. Channels of Fox are distribbed to about 4 million of the 14.3 million subscribers Dish has across the country.
Said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski about the Fox-Dish pact, "I am pleased that Fox and Dish have kept in mind their responsibility to protect consumers from blackouts when they negotiate carriage terms. I urge both the sides to complete their negotiations and end the impasse that has disrupted service to viewers."
Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) continues to press his case of a legislative overhaul of the retransmission consent law that governs deal-making between broadcast TV station owners and subscription TV providers. He released a letter on Friday that he received from Genachowski noting his concern about viewers suffering through station blackouts.
On his part, Genachowski indicated that he would support Kerry's call for changing the retransmission law to mandate mediation or binding arbitration during fee disputes in order to keep stations from going dark for consumers. "I agree that it is time for Congress to revisit the current retransmission law and assess whether changes in the marketplace call for to strike the appropriate balance of private negotiations and consumer protection," he stated.