Fox 8 Involved In Dish Network Dispute

UPDATE 10/22/10 1:25 PM: Reader “Fred” points out an article from another Local TV market confirming the representation, here, from long-time Milwaukee media columnist Tim Cuprisin.

Fred also reminds us of WJW’s anemic 11 kW VHF 8 signal, which means OTA viewing won’t be an option for many Dish viewers if there’s no Fox/Dish pact by the first of next month…

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We’ve been trying to figure out why Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8″ has been invoked in the dispute between Fox (and parent NewsCorp) and Dish Network, which has already forced Fox Sports Ohio off the satellite provider.

Our curiosity increased Thursday, when we heard a local radio spot – presumably produced by Fox – that promotes the company’s getwhatipaidfor.com dispute site…and specifically mentions WJW’s possible absence from the nation’s second-largest satellite provider if the dispute is not solved by November 1st.

As readers of the Mighty Blog(tm) certainly know, WJW hasn’t been owned by Fox/NewsCorp for some time now. That fact would presumably mean that it wouldn’t be involved directly in the dispute between its former owner and Dish Network.

Think again.

OMW hears that indeed, Fox is “representing” WJW in the carriage dispute, and if no agreement is reached, WJW will disappear from Dish on November 1st.

There is precedent for this, but on the other side of the carriage wars.

Time Warner Cable sold off a number of cable systems in some other markets to Bright House Networks, but still handles carriage issues for Bright House even to this day.

We’ll assume that there is some clause in the deal selling WJW and the other mid-market O&O’s to Local TV, that keeps carriage negotiations under the Fox umbrella. We do know that there is (reportedly) a 10 year Fox affiliation deal for the stations, including WJW.

By the way, a slight bit of housekeeping. We expect to return to this blog regularly next week, possibly on Tuesday.

Our new “Secondary Editorial Voice” will continue to be able to write posts here, but we’ll take over the heavy lifting again next week..

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5 Responses to Fox 8 Involved In Dish Network Dispute

  1. Fred says:

    From what I have read else where, Oak Hill Capital Partners (who owns Local TV LLC) has in their agreement that Fox is their proxy representative in any negotiation. There was a statement on the matter from another Local TV GM here

    Fortunately, many of Dish’s HD receivers have built in OTA tuners. Unfortunately, WJW’s OTA signal is so weak, most probably can’t pick it up. If anyone from WJW is reading, please do what you can to get Fox to deal. Think of all the eyes that ill be off your programing for November sweeps.

    Keep in mind that it is not Dish pulling the channel. They wish to keep the channels on with the old agreement terms while negotiations continue.

  2. Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

    To wit, two other LocalTV’s in Denver (KDVR) and Greensboro (WGHP… AKA the other “Fox 8″) are also either running ads (on the front page of WGHP’s website, MyFox8.com) or covering the dispute on their newscasts (this story ran on both KDVR and proxy sister station KWGN).

    While I have been able to receive WJW’s OTA signal in eastern Lorain County, this does not look good for Fox 8 viewers otherwise.

  3. I’m curious as to whether FOX has any percentage of ownership in Local TV or WJW TV 8. The other realization is the obvious bond between a network and a key affliliate – especially one FOX owned for a brief period. It takes a lot of money to buy or own a tv station(s) in a key market(s) and I wouldn’t be overly suprised if some executives at FOX still had an interest in some of their former stations. Can anyone educate me on this?

    • As far as I know, Fox executives and the company no longer have an interest in the Local TV-ex-O&O’s. They do have a long-term affiliation agreement (which OMW reported first back when this first happened), and that may be the source of the “proxy” where Fox negotiates with Dish.

      It may not be all inclusive, since I’m pretty sure the Local TV stations weren’t involved when Fox had its little tiff with Time Warner a ways back.

  4. Fred says:

    Just got a tweet from Fox 8’s helpful new reporter Annette Lawless to expect an update tonight. Perhaps WJW will have a story on the matter in one of their evening newscasts.

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