With FX embroiled in a carriage war with Dish Network, Kurt Sutter is prepared for his top-rated biker drama to take a hit
FX and its series producers are prepping for tough sledding, ratings-wise, with the channel remaining blacked out in the homes and businesses of 14.3 million Dish Network subscribers.
"We'll probably take a hit with the Dish debacle," tweeted "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter, whose show will have its first run amid the carriage battle Tuesday night at 10 p.m.
"That's exactly what Dish wants — to hurt the network," he added.
On Friday, Fox Networks pulled FX, as well as National Geographic and its regional sports channels, off the No. 2 satellite TV service provider, unable to come to terms with Dish on a carriage agreement that expired Oct. 1.
There's no indication that an agreement will be reached soon.
In statements to the press, Dish spokesman Mark Lumpkin accused Fox Networks of continually "shaking down" TV service providers, noting that Fox is seeking a 50 percent rate increase for some of its channels.
Apparently not seeking to calm the rancor, Fox Networks released the following statement: "Dish Network wrote another chapter in its legendary history of irrational negotiations with television programmers by allowing the expiration of its carriage agreement to carry Fox's 19 regional sports networks, FX, and National Geographic Channel."
What's worse, Fox and Dish Network have to negotiate for more than just the cable channels, with carriage agreements for local stations expiring Nov. 1.