Sling TV customers have lost access to various Fox channels.
Sling TV’s parent, Dish Network confirmed the channel lineup change earlier today.
This not only affect Fox local channels, but also popular network channels including Fox Sports.
Dish accuses Fox of force bundling
Dish places the blame squarely on Fox saying that Fox rejected an extension offer made by Dish. Adding that Fox is “demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase” for access to the same services.
Dish goes further stating that Fox is attempting to “force bundle” local channels with less popular channels. A move Dish says, is “profoundly anti-consumer.”
At the local level, the dispute is said to affect “local channels in 17 markets across 23 states and the District of Columbia.’
In addition, the dispute means no access to FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes. This not only affect Sling TV customers, but Dish customers in general.
The press release actually largely focuses on Dish customers although Sling TV’s various social media channels, as well as the Sling TV help pages have been updated confirming the dispute applies to the streaming service as well.
Fox has yet to issue a press statement.
Fox and Sling TV the latest carriage casualties
Carriage battles have become more apparent in the last year and this appears to be the effect of the latest.
This follows on from some fairly high-profile disputes involving AT&T TV NOW. The service, formerly known as DIRECTV TV NOW encountered a local channel dispute with Nexstar, as well as a more vocal dispute with CBS.
Both of those disputes were recently settled.
AT&T has also been in a long-standing dispute with Dish over access to HBO. AT&T acquired HBO as part of its Time Warner purchase.
Like that HBO despite, which also affects Sling TV, there’s currently no word on whether the current dispute between Dish and Fox will be settled anytime soon.
Technically, it is only the network channel access that is new here. Sling TV customers lost access to Fox regional sports networks back in July of this year.
Today’s update simply confirms an agreement has not been reached. In addition to the blackout now extending to more channels.
In the meantime, Dish is advising customers to access lost local channels for free using an antenna or through Locast.
Locast is an option available to customers who stream TV, although it is not available in all locations.