Update on Fox-Direct TV contract dispute

October 21, 2011

John Ourand of the Sports Business Daily/Journal has followed up a report on the Fox-Direct TV contract dispute. The two parties have now drawn lines in the sand which has Direct TV threatening to pull Fox channels on November 1.

Late Thursday night Fox released the following statement (obtained via John Ourand’s twitter)

Despite Fox Networks’ offer of an extension during our ongoing negotiations, DirecTV has informed us and their customers that unless we agree to their demands, they “will suspend our networks on November 1.”

DirecTV sent us a proposal on Tuesday afternoon. They have given us no chance to respond before taking an unnecessarily aggressive posture and going public. It is disappointing that they have chosen bad faith tactics over meaningful negotiation.

We have proposed to keep the Fox Networks on DirecTV for the same price, and on the same terms as they are currently carried while we attempt to work out a fair agreement. Unfortunately, DirecTV has decided that unless they get their way, they are going to pull the plug on their customers November 1.

The following is Direct TV’s response (via Ourand’s twitter):

After months of making little progress in our talks with News Corp and Fox to renew our agreement to carry their regional sports networks and other national channels we’ve regrettably reached a point where we will be forced to suspend the channels as soon as Nov. 1 unless News Corp is willing to move toward a more reasonable price increase.

They are currently asking our customers to pay 40% more for the exact same Fox channels that they already receive and that’s simply unfair and unwarranted. We hope to resolve this situation before any action is taken, but we will do what’s necessary to protect our customers from excessive and unwarranted fee increases. We already provide News Corp nearly a billion dollars a year for their channels, and we have no problem continuing to compensate them fairly.

Note: Fox broadcast stations and Fox News are not affected at this time

Fox contract ends December 31, 2011 while Fox News contract ends January 31, 2012.

Payout Perspective:

Fortunately for the UFC, the Fox network will not be affected for its big “UFC on Fox” event November 12th. However, the dispute could affect its future programming on Fox networks. Why? Direct TV has 19 million subscribers and is the second biggest distributor in the US. A prolonged dispute between Fox-Direct TV could negate UFC momentum of promoting its brand on Fox networks. With UFC programming set for Fox cable networks like FX and Fuel, many of the casual viewers will not see the UFC with its new network partners.  In fact, the dispute could be beneficial to Spike TV which could go heavy into airing the UFC library during this time. As we’ve pointed out, this could lead to future viewer confusion once Fox-Direct TV come to terms. We will continue to monitor to see if Fox cable networks goes dark on November 1st.

95 Responses to “Update on Fox-Direct TV contract dispute”

  1. David on October 29th, 2011 7:04 AM

    Direct TV’s CEO made $33,000.000.00

    Direct TV, cry me a river over Fox’s demands…

    “NEW YORK – DirecTV chairman, president and CEO Michael White’s total 2010 compensation amounted to $32.9 million, the satellite TV firm disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.

    A big boost for the pay package though was an “up front” multi-year stock and stock options incentive grant valued at approximately $9.1 million per year over a three year period, the company said. “No additional stock-based grants are anticipated for Mr. White in 2011 and 2012,” the filing said.

    Last year was White’s first at DirecTV.

    The filing listed his base salary at $1.45 million. White also received a performance-based bonus of $4 million. The filing also mentioned the up-front stock awards valued at $14.7 million and option awards worth $12.5 million overall as part of his compensation, plus “other” compensation.”

    Perhaps Direct TV should take another look at where their money is actually going. Compensate the customers…cut the CEO pay by 90% – 95%

  2. l pickard on October 29th, 2011 9:07 AM

    Wake up and take a careful, blinders off look at Netflix – got a little (meaning a lot) greedy and now they are going down the tubes real fast. Yes, we have a contract with direct tv, however as the saying goes “you can’t get blood out of a stone”. All of us are quickly turning to stone. Quite frankly if I never watched Fox news again, with all the bickering and overtalk argueing on their talk shows, that would be just OK. I will protest over the loss of all the other programming that I went to Directtv for in the first place.
    Corporate greed will make millions of viewers get off the couch and go back to playing sports instead of watching sports….maybe learn to read again…..maybe go to the movies more……maybe pay attention to their kids again……or just come out of the stupor of watching endless hours of tv.

  3. GGReat on October 29th, 2011 10:06 AM

    Could not watch game 7 of the World Series last night due to the ongoing contract dispute.

    What is going on here? Is Direct TV holding out for more reasonable prices because Fox is being greedy? Sounds to me like 40% is too high, so Fox needs to stop all this sillyness and come down in price. 40% increase in this economy is being greedy.

    I’m with Direct TV on this one and will sacrifice being able to watch certain Fox programs on the principle of fairness. All those willing to switch are selling out to Fox’s greed, and in the process promoting the same type of greed we are seeing all over the country.

    These big corporations know they can take advantage of us because too many people are unwilling to sacrifice and stick to principles, even for a short period.

    Take a stand and say no to corporate greed by your willingness to sacrifice short term in the interest of the long term.

  4. Keith on October 29th, 2011 1:14 PM

    FOX is at fault here. Is Fox going to provide 40% better programming? Don’t blame DirecTV for trying to hold the line against unreasonable increases from Fox. I’ll support DirecTv even though I would lose Pac12 football and Angels baseball. I also like Fox News .. fair and balanced. But the 40% increase in fee is absurd!

  5. Darlene Adams on October 29th, 2011 4:17 PM

    After seeing the message on the screen while watching a favorite show; I followed the web link to read their msg. Then I jumped over to my DirectTV account to read more. News Corp last year did the same BS with Dish Network and some other cable providers. Here is how I see it: I agree with DirectTV with not increasing the cost. Our economy crisis is killing the average people. Big corporations sit nice and cozy, while as we are struggling. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that contracts have come with some cost and stipulations. However what is the gain for News Corp? I watch 1 channel that is being interfered with (FX), I do enjoy the shows; however I will not pay additional 40% for 1 channel and a small handful of shows. Take your contact and put into a shredder. I will stay with DirectTV; where I have been a customer for 10 years and holding. Thank you for your time. Mrs. Adams

  6. A Pratt on October 30th, 2011 6:10 AM

    fox wants to charge more for rograming meaning That direct TV must charge more for programming. Fox has done this with the cable companies as well. I think it is time for Americans to stand up to FOX and say NO MORE. When fox and cable had this same argument My cable rates jumped and I switched to Direct TV now the same thing is happening. I Say americans turn of the TV and live life let both the networks and carries know that we will not be pawns in thier game.

  7. Chuck on October 30th, 2011 6:42 AM

    If Direct TV and Fox cannot settle their dispute then many of us will be forced to sign with their competitor Dish network. I live in the country and don’t have access to cable. Hard to say if they are just using us as pawns in their big corporate battles, but between Direct TV threatening to drop NBC and the Fox family in the Seattle area I’m getting tired of all this crap. I will loose about half of the channels I normally watch and I know they will not cut my bill in half

  8. jerry on October 30th, 2011 10:22 AM

    Direct tv are a bunch of underhanded scum!when I subscribed I was promised a free dvd.its even stated in black and white in theire promo online.I did not receive one. When I called dtv I was told that I did not request one. I asked them to review the tape of my phone call,which I know are recorded,and they refused. Now that are threatening to take my favorite shows.that’s a breach of contract and I certainly will cancel. As far as the early termination fee,good luck collecting that!I have cancelled out the card the account was billed to. Up yours dtv!!

  9. moleski on October 30th, 2011 2:53 PM

    we will go to another provider if Fox is taken off the air….

  10. ron on October 30th, 2011 4:37 PM

    I will cancel Direct TV and will not watch anything Fox or part of that group…….tired of giving my money out to the greedy rich…………….no way !!!!!!

  11. Presho on October 30th, 2011 6:36 PM

    I’m only 17, a senior in high school. But from the time i’ve watched tv, it’s been direct tv. Nothing has changed that. Why don’t people just pick one program, bite the bullet, and stop bringing this nonsense into something as simple as watching tv. I think this whole argument is extremely immature. Instead of bitching about how direct tv is screwing you over, stop complaining on a blog, go terminate your service, and get on with your life.

  12. Tim lage on October 30th, 2011 9:28 PM

    I live in a rural area satalite tv is our only option if direct tv takes our sports away my wife and i agreed that we would move back into town and go back to comcast.

  13. Tim lage on October 30th, 2011 9:37 PM

    The costomers pay for the channels they agree’d to when signing the contract direct tv would forfit the contract by taking our channels away that we pay for i would be willing to get together with the people amd start a facebook page and put together a lawsuit to get out of our early termination contract fees my e mail is basscase420@yahoo.com we have a voice lets put an end to this big corp. greed .

  14. William Ashford on October 30th, 2011 10:30 PM

    Direct TV
    I have been with you from 1993 to today, Fox is one of the reasons I stay with you. If my service is turned off I will be turning you off and going someware else. You get my check every month without any problems so I want you to deliver my service without any interruption, Do you hear me!!!!!!

  15. J J Paul on October 31st, 2011 6:56 AM

    I have Fox Soccer at both home and office, and Fox Soccer Plus at my home. I currently pay DirectTV $14.95/month for Fox Soccer Plus at my home. Interestingly, when I learned these may be cut 11/1 I looked at my local cable option and found Fox Soccer Plus bundled with other programming for $6.95/month (not a sign-up special). So, who is gouging me pricewise — the program provider or DirectTV? It seems to be DirectTV!

  16. DAve on October 31st, 2011 8:47 AM

    I recently signed up for Direct TV. I made sure all of the channels that i watched were available before doing so. If Direct is going to drop a channel,then current contracts should be grandfathered in until the contract expires. This is the new thing in this country.Just like our government. They wait until the last minute before negotiations and then proclaim it a crisis. Its a way of both companys getting you to bend over and take it. Obviously contracts as large as these are not renegotiated a week before they are due to expire. Unfortunetly we are now sheep in this country. Now i have to gho watch my gas needle go down to empty. When my car stops i will proclaim it an unforseen crises.

  17. soccer fan on October 31st, 2011 9:51 AM

    i am not surprised tyipical corporate america so greedy. and i have had nothing but problems with the speed of my dvr recever you no those big ugly ones they send you. local cable companys will pay off your contract call them.

  18. Gene on October 31st, 2011 10:25 AM

    DTV keeps talking about 40%increase. My question is what are they paying for fox programs relative to the other three networks. Is it comparable or are they offering FOX 40%less than they are paying ABC, NBC and CBS.

  19. sergio gomez on October 31st, 2011 3:24 PM


  20. Jose Mendoza on November 1st, 2011 12:18 PM


    Both parties agree on a deal!!!

  21. joseph kent on November 10th, 2011 6:56 PM

    According to the most reliable internet sites, Michael White, DirecTV CEO, makes ~ $56 million / year; BEFORE his real money kicks in: i.e., stock options, percentages of profits, vehicles, home, etc.
    What a clown. He’s coming to us: the two spouses-working, poverty- stricken, “trying to keep our homes” customers, for understanding about his plight with Fox: a fight between these two greedy, $$ hoarding megamorons.
    DIRECTV is a corporate thug nest.
    Poor Michael. How sad for you.
    How desperate you must be, pleading with us, your ripped off customers for understanding. Maybe we can catch your sad tale at the Salvation Army foodbank this weekend.
    What an arrogantly stupid man!
    For $56 million per year salary, you would think he would get a more believable TOUPEE, for starters, rather than the pathetic, K -Mart wig he wears on his head,
    before he gets in front of the camera. He needs to get a real, genuinely human stand-in spokesman, for starters.
    He has a face for radio.
    DIRECT Radio.
    Now there’s an idea for him.
    Greedy morons.
    Go to hell.

  22. russ on January 17th, 2012 6:27 PM

    Everyone should drop direct tv…they broke our contracts by not providing fox….this is fraud…..I am sure the courts would find in our favor…..and if they try to make you pay cancellations charges take them to court….

  23. cc on January 25th, 2012 1:43 PM

    Why doesnt everyone just do what I did , go to Cosco buy an ANTENNA and watch FOX when you want

  24. Kathie Morton on March 28th, 2012 1:30 PM

    You are braking our contract by not connecting to fox, you cancel them we cancel you, we should have all lower channels. John & Kathie Morton

  25. Beth Fox on March 29th, 2012 9:11 AM

    Do not take Fox Network channels away. It’s a local station in the Sacramento area & we value it. Don’t lose your customers, because keep it up & we’re not the only ones leaving.

  26. Daniel Cole on March 30th, 2012 12:05 AM

    Hi my name is Daniel Cole and I am a well respected Direct TV customer and I would rather you not get rid of FOX because I watch that channel every day and alot of people do and I would not wanna have to go elsewhere for tv I would rather keep Direct tv so please do not get rid of FOX 40 I love channel I mean its our local news channel so please get this resolved and fast

  27. craig on March 30th, 2012 2:20 PM

    Direct TV is used by a hugh number of households. Without FOX we will have to get our tv news from ONLY liberal sources. Could this be a manufactured dispute for the purpose of controlling what news the American people are exposed to, at this time just before election? The very hour that FOX goes off I purchase stock in dish and switch.

  28. rickey on March 31st, 2012 8:29 AM

    drop Fox and i will drop directtv

  29. miriam on March 31st, 2012 6:16 PM

    we need fox because we have the news closing from school and other source about news

  30. Clayton on April 1st, 2012 1:15 AM

    1am on Nov 1st, Direct TV, sends a message that the owner of the Fox channel requested to have the Fox channels removed from Direct TV lineup. Comcast (cable) has Fox. I think it is time to make a change.

  31. Dennis Rose on April 2nd, 2012 9:00 AM

    Iam a nascar fan. and a direct subsriber. I have alredy talked to direct and they seem to be sorry.I just cant beleave nascar can just sit back blindley and watch there fans be exploited by fox or enny outher network.

  32. brad on April 3rd, 2012 4:57 PM

    I will be leaving direct if fox is no longer part of the package; going to start looking next week. I have been with direct for a very long time!

  33. Lee & Ursala on April 6th, 2012 12:52 PM

    We been with direct tv long time over 13 years. We pay for NFL channel u take the. Fox channels we take our cable business elsewhere. We rely on Fox for news and football. This is a loser decision Direct. Tv u r getting 2 comfortable but do not mess with our cable channels or u may be in an economic crisis like the other companies Wake up and give your customers what they demand or others will provide us

  34. Allan Innes on April 26th, 2012 2:17 PM

    I had considered moving from Dish to DirectV…
    Forget it…
    No Fox News..? No deal..!!!

    Fox News is the only real voice in the face of a completely liberal-controlled media.

  35. Danielle on July 11th, 2012 4:33 PM

    We lost nik, mtv, vh1 etc today! Anyone know how to end th contact without fees?

  36. Jeff on July 16th, 2012 8:15 AM

    Direct T V is a company that has a problem. I have a contract that has a price lock. I paid for the channels and if cost more for them to get them than that is the cost of doing business. Don’t expect me to pay more for a channel. I had this same problem with time warner the whole cable tv industery is a sham of bate and switch.

  37. gail on July 17th, 2012 3:16 PM

    I fully intend to ask for a credit on my bill! My contract includes these channeis and if i’m not getting them, then dtv is in breach of contract. Therefore, should i decide to terminate, i won’t be paying any termination fees. I will also notify the fcc of this fraudelent practice!

  38. mike on July 20th, 2012 6:26 AM

    I agree with Gail 100 % that’s what I was saying at work the other day. And my attorney also told me it is breach of contract on their part

  39. george on August 17th, 2012 1:57 PM

    This is a bunch of crap, it seems like this a normal practice for Direct TV so it can inpact the NFL season this is two years in a row for, it will be the last. I will be a former customer.

  40. susan owens on August 29th, 2012 7:55 AM

    directv better get their stuff together ,we pay a lot for our service from them and i will be one very unhappy customer if i miss my programs due to this nonsense and will look for another satellite or cable service.

  41. Carole on August 30th, 2012 11:53 AM

    Wow, here we go again. CEO’s wanting a bigger bonus payout at the expense of the Direct TV, DIsh TV, X-Finity etc. After all we all know who winds up paying for the increases, The Customers of these providers. We are NOT getting raises, and I know FOX 13 is not passing this windfall on to their employees so again the customers are paying for some rich CEO to get a bigger bonus, while my bill will go up to cover their bonus. I am so tired of these CEO’s etc. making over a million or more a year, get real do you know what we have to live on? We live on $20K to, if we are lucky, $40k a year so don’t be surprised if I am not crying, FOX 13 and the FOX Stations, a river and applaude DIrect TV for looking out for us.

  42. lori allard on February 28th, 2013 10:28 AM

    I just switched to direct tv went through the same thing with dish I am not playing these games any more I guess I will go back to cable this is getting ridiculous

  43. ken on April 6th, 2013 9:24 AM

    well direct has already removed 17 of my channels and now can’t get fox sports.they have already broke the contract so when i cut then off i won’t owe them nothing.big company’s think they can screw you when they want to.i have no problem doing without them and everyone should just dump them.then what would they do?

  44. IVY on October 21st, 2013 10:35 AM

    I’m so sick of them taking crap away, we pay over 200 per month I want every freaking channel. My husband is getting that stupid NFL package, but because the game is on a regular channel he can’t watch it. I’m so over this. Sit down and come up with a compromise. I wish we could just shut down their payments when we didn’t like something. UUGGGHHHHH

  45. Beth on January 5th, 2015 8:50 AM

    I work hard everyday, I work the night shift and I went to direct tv for several reason one being I could record my favorite shows and them watch themwhen I got off work unfortunately several of my most favorite shows are on channel 18. I find this to be very upsetting I work at a very stressful place and being able to relax when I get home is very important and now I will be missing out on that because of this situation. I don’t know where all the blame is but direct tv needs to fix this or u will end up losing a lot of your customers all because of money ( what a shame)

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