Last updated: October 30, 2010 - 5:01pm
Dish Network and the News Corporation's Fox Networks unit announced a distribution agreement on Friday restoring Fox's regional sports networks in Dish households after a four-week blackout.
Two other channels, FX and the National Geographic Channel, were also immediately turned back on in the homes of Dish's 14 million customers. With the agreement, Dish also averts what was an impending blackout of the Fox broadcast network. Dish's contract for that network was scheduled to expire at the end of Sunday, and there had been questions about whether the two sides would come to new terms, given that the News Corporation is in a dispute with Cablevision over the same right to retransmit Fox's local stations. The stations have been blocked in Cablevision households for two weeks.
Using the Dish agreement to add pressure to Cablevision and Fox, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski released a statement urging the two parties "to complete their negotiations and end the impasse that has disrupted service to viewers." Separately, Chairman Genachowski wrote in a letter to Sen John Kerry (D-MA), who recently proposed updated legislation, that "it is time for Congress to revisit the current retransmission law."