As Western Journalism reported earlier this month, satellite television provider Dish Network dropped both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network from its lineup in a contract renewal disagreement over carriage fees.
That set off an acrimonious war of words between Fox News executives and officials of Dish, whose chief has accused Fox of “extortion.”
But in the war of cable ratings, the just-announced victory by Fox News may soon have Dish eating a heaping helping of crow off its wobbly programming plate.
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Deadline Hollywood reports that in 2014, Fox News Channel was the most watched cable news network for the 13th straight year, clobbering both CNN and MSNBC:
CNN will close out 2014 with some all-time ratings lows. In primetime, the network has delivered its worst-rated year in total viewers and its second-lowest in the news demo.
On the bright side, it will wrap 2014 ahead of MSNBC in the news demo; through December 22, MSNBC lost 17% of its primetime news demo viewers, clocking a worst-since-2005 169,000 of them.
Not only has Fox News left its direct cable competitors in the dust, the channel has also finished 2014 high in the rankings of all cable networks, not just news providers:
FNC rings out the year ranked No. 4 among ad-supported basic cable networks in overall primetime audience, behind only ESPN, USA Network and TNT; it also ranks No. 4 in total. CNN and MSNBC are way back in the 20s and 30s.
In a new analysis of the Fox-Dish feud, mediaite.com points out that FNC appears to be in a very strong position to win the war and regain its place on the Dish lineup, especially in light of the channel’s ratings dominance and the fierce loyalty of its millions of fans.
…Fox’s fan base has besieged Dish with calls and emails since the channel went dark.
By Fox’s tally, about 180,000 complaint calls have been registered with the toll-free line Fox established for the Dish fight. At last count, 140,000-plus emails have been sent as well.
During the dispute — to which neither side is currently forecasting an end — Dish is ironically carrying Glenn Beck’s channel “The Blaze” in place of Fox News. Beck launched “The Blaze” after he left FNC in 2011.