A tired Tim Carry pointed the finger at Dish Network in the wake of the blackout of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network from the DBS provider’s air, questioning the way the No. 2 DBS provider does business and how it portrayed the events of last night to its subscribers.
“It’s been a rough couple of days,” said Carry, executive vice president of distribution for FNC and FBN, just before noon (ET) on Sunday morning. “They pulled our signals. We were shocked by that and then again when they went out on their website and told their customers that we took [the signals] down. They lied to their customers.”
According to Fox, Dish took down the signals for the cable news sector leader and its flanking business service at 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 20. The parties' contract was scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. last night.
Carry said he’s been doing deals for Fox News since 1996, and distribution pacts since 1993 "altogether. This is the first time our network has been taken off the air. We offered the same deal to Dish that we have to other major providers, and other large operators have agreed to. Dish has been an outlier over the years. They don’t want to do business the way other companies do.”
Asked, as Dish claims, if other Fox properties, beyond FNC and FBN, were brought into the discussions, Carry replied: “We have a structure that we follow. It’s how we’ve done deals with other operators over the past five years.”
Did Dish’s interest in launching an over-the-top system play a role in derailing the negotiations? Carry said the talks broke down over “core issues” to Fox and Dish, and that the company has been "open to considering all proposals presented to us.
Following the blackout of the networks late last night, Carry said there has been a barrage of reactions and posts on Dish’s and Fox’s Facebook and Twitter pages. He said that from 7 a.m. through noon, there had been 12,404 calls to the 888-Fox-News number, with nearly 7,100 transferred to Dish, presumably with customers intent on switching providers.
As things broke down last night, Carry said he left it "that he’s” happy to talk, to please contact us.” As of a noon on Sunday, he said there had not been any contact with Dish.
“We want, through Dish or without Dish, for our viewers to be able to enjoy our services as quickly as possible. That’s our goal,” he said.