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Dish vs. Fox dispute to block sports fans

By Aaron Smith, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Dish Network subscribers could have trouble seeing their favorite college football team this weekend after Fox Networks blocked 19 regional sports networks in a rate increase dispute.

"Fox is demanding a new contract with an unprecedented rate increase of more than 50%," said Dish, in a press release Friday.

A source at Fox, who asked not to be named, referred to the 50% increase as "gross overstatement" on the part of Dish.

Dish (DISH, Fortune 500) accused Fox of trying to "intimidate Dish Network and its customers into paying the rate increase. Fox has flatly refused Dish Network's request to allow customers to continue to watch these Fox channels during the negotiations."

Fox Networks released a statement saying that Dish "decided to no longer carry Fox Networks cable programming" as of midnight, Sept. 30.

"The proposal we've offered Dish is fair and in line with the tremendous value we provide," said the Fox statement. "We regret the inconvenience to our viewers, but Dish has asserted its subscribers do not value our channels and has made a decision to go forward without them."

Dish spokesman Marc Lumpkin said the move could impact sports viewers around the country. Fans might get blocked from watching some college football games, if they're being broadcast on regional channels, said Lumpkin.

He also said that fans of some Major League Baseball teams still in the playoff chase, such as the Atlanta Braves, might not be able to see the games during the final weekend of the regular season.

News Corp (NWS, Fortune 500). is the parent company of Fox. To top of page

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