Fox, Dish agree to terms, ending blackout

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 29 at 5:06 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dish Network Corp. customers will continue to be able to watch baseball's World Series on their TV sets after the satellite TV company reached a long-term deal with News Corp.'s Fox on Friday. So far, Cablevision subscribers are still out of luck.

The deal between broadcaster Fox and the third-largest TV signal provider in the nation brought an end to the blackout of cable channels FX, National Geographic Channel, and 19 regional sports networks to 14.3 million Dish customers that began Oct. 1.

The deal also covered the signals from 27 Fox-owned TV stations that were in jeopardy of being blacked out when the existing pact was set to expire at midnight Sunday.

The agreement included Fox 5 in New York, one of three stations that has been blacked out to 3 million Cablevision Systems Corp. customers since Oct. 16 in a fee dispute.

Dave Shull, Dish's senior vice president of programming, said in a statement that the prolonged bargaining resulted in a fair deal "that reinforces Dish Network's position as the best value in television."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski welcomed the deal, saying both sides "kept in mind their responsibility to protect consumers from blackouts." He urged Cablevision and Fox to settle "and end the impasse that has disrupted service to viewers."

In the Cablevision dispute, three Fox-owned TV stations as well as cable channels Fox Business Network, NatGeo Wild and Fox Deportes have been blacked out.

On Wednesday, Cablevision said it would reimburse its customers $10 each to cover the cost of paying to watch the World Series online through MLB.com.

Game 3 of the series, in which the San Francisco Giants lead the Texas Rangers 2-0, gets under way at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday.

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