Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fox Sports regional cable dispute may affect viewers of Tampa Bay Rays weekend pennant race games from KC

10/2, LA Times: "Tens of thousands of baseball and college football fans could well be left in the lurch this weekend as a result of an increasingly contentious tug-of-war over price hikes between Fox and satellite broadcaster Dish Network.

Those channels are scheduled to broadcast this weekend's Angels and Dodgers season-ending baseball games as well as the college football contest between UCLA and Washington State, among other events.

  • Although the Dodgers and Angels are not in contention for the playoffs, Dish subscribers in other parts of the country could miss out on some nail-biting action.

For example, in southwest Florida the Tampa Bay Rays are battling for the American League East crown,

  • but their games at Kansas City this weekend will be on the Fox regional channels.

Disputes between programmers and distributors such as Dish are becoming increasingly common. Media companies want more money for their popular programming as production costs climb....

A sticking point in negotiations has been the channels' positioning in Dish Network's programming levels. Dish does not make FX, National Geographic

  • or Fox's sports networks available to customers who buy a
  • basic programming package. Rather the channels are available only in more expensive packages.

"customers should get access to our programming," said Mike Hopkins, president of Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing.

  • If Dish wants to keep the channels on a more expensive tier of service, "then Dish should pay a fair price for that."

"Fox cuts dish feed for FX, sports channels" via BTF

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