DirecTV and DIRECTV STREAM Customers May Lose FOX, FS1, and Big Ten Network in Carriage Dispute
Earlier today, FOX began warning customers that if they can’t reach a deal with DIRECTV by Friday, December 2nd, subscribers may lose access to select FOX networks. While it won’t affect Fox News or Fox Business Network, DIRECTV subscribers could lose FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus, and Fox broadcast networks in owned-and-operated markets.
FOX owned-and-operated markets include local affiliates in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Gainesville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose.
If the channels are dropped, the dispute could mean customers would be without access to World Cup action, NFL games, and College Football matchups. FOX warned customers last month of a possible carriage dispute with Altice, but reached a last minute agreement ahead of the channels going dark.
In a statement to The Streamable, DIRECTV said:
At this point, any interruption of Fox programming depends solely on Fox alone. DIRECTV has no intention to remove any Fox content. The best way for everyone to “Keep Fox” is for Fox to keep making it available themselves. We’re working hard to reach an agreement to renew these Fox stations and national sports channels so customers can continue to enjoy them at a strong value. Based on our excellent track record with Fox, we’re confident we’ll come to terms ahead of any potential disruption. In fact, we’ve renewed nearly 200 local FOX stations much like these over the last few years.
Unfortunately, the same old, tired programmer scare tactics of putting customers into the middle of contract renewals tend to die hard. Fox invented this tactic back at the turn of the century, and has a long, long history of aggravating consumers to help try to boost their guaranteed rates, while most renewals are typically resolved without any interruptions.
Ahead of Super Bowl LIV in 2020, FOX nearly dropped their streaming apps from Roku devices as a result of a carriage dispute.
Back in 2019, Fox and Dish Network had a carriage dispute that saw the same channels at the center of this dispute dropped by Dish Network and Sling TV, only to return ten days later.
DIRECTV is currently in a carriage dispute with Mission Broadcasting, which has seen ~25 local affiliates dark since late-October.