Will Dish Become Ditch?

 

This past Saturday night, Dish Network’s viewers of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network got screwed, caught in the middle of a corporate war. I’m one of those subscribers.

Dish Network, America’s third-largest pay-TV service, claims it cannot satisfactorily renew its contract with 21st Century Fox — and vice versa.

To retaliate, Dish prevented its 14M subscribers from getting Fox’s news and business channels. Take that.

In the war of words, Dish claims that Fox News withdrew from its satellite network, while Fox News insists that Dish pulled the plug. Who will keep the monogrammed towels?
 
What About the Customers?

Turns out that Dish recently blocked CBS and CNN, also over contractual impasses. So, it’s nothing personal against Fox. Dish ditches its customers as a negotiating tactic.

So reassuring. What about the customers? Oh, those pawns. They’re paying the same rate to Dish for a product sans Fox News, the #1 cable-news network.

No worries. Through a new website, Dish tells angry customers how much it cares about them. Fox also created a new website: to tell its viewers to ditch Dish.

If this horseshit continues, Dish will become known as Ditch.
 
Bypass Operation

In chapter 13 (“Channel Branding”) of Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding, I exhort CEOs: If your dealers stink, you stink! Customers view the vendor/dealer ecosystem as a single entity. Never forget that.

Newsflash to Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News: Dish Network is one of your dealers. Switching dealers isn’t that easy for customers, and the reputations of the alternatives aren’t stellar. You can’t just leave your viewers in the lurch like this. Such abandonment causes angst and resentment, and it damages your vaunted brand.

Its time for Fox News and other content providers to bypass traditional pay-TV carriers by broadcasting directly to viewers over the Internet. All new TVs are Internet-enabled, and many people already watch TV programs on their computers and mobile devices.
 
Parting Advice to CEOs

Never let your dealers hold you hostage and ruin your brand. Accordingly, dealers must not let suppliers likewise harm their brands.

More important, don’t let your customers suffer from your supplier/dealer squabbles.

BOTTOM LINE: If you want to end up in a ditch, ditch your customers. Are you listening, Ditch Network?
 
POSTSCRIPT #1: Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen Accuses Fox News of Extortion

POSTSCRIPT #2: Dish Network Has Blocked 10+ Channels in Six Months

POSTSCRIPT #3: Dish Network Has Replaced Fox News with Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze

POSTSCRIPT #4: Fox News Loses 700K+ Viewers in Last Week of 2014

POSTSCRIPT #5: Motley Fool Says Dish Was Right to Ditch Fox News

POSTSCRIPT #6: Harold Vogel: Expect Fox/Dish Feud to Become Long Battle of CEO Egos

POSTSCRIPT #7: Glenn Beck and TheBlaze Are Accidental Victors in Fox/Dish War

POSTSCRIPT #8: Dish Announces Internet-based TV, Excludes #1 Fox News

POSTSCRIPT #9: Result of FNC/Dish War: 99K Sunday Viewers for 2nd Time in 13 Years

POSTSCRIPT #10: Motley Fool Says Fox, Dish, and Pay TV Are Losing in the Fox/Dish War

POSTSCRIPT #11: Comcast and DirecTV Reluctant to Poach Fox News Viewers from Dish

POSTSCRIPT #12: Fox News Back on Dish Network (01.15.15)

POSTSCRIPT #13: Three Reasons Fox News Is Big Winner Against Dish (01.16.15)

POSTSCRIPT #14: Dish Lost 63K+ Subscribers in 4Q14 from War with Fox News (02.23.15)

 

About the Author

Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.

 

© 2014 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.

 

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