All's not fair in love and carriage war.
So say officials for Dish Network, who criticized Fox Thursday for running a print ads in newspapers that tie the two companies' ongoing impasse over cable-channel carriage with a entirely separate issue emerging over local channels.
"These are separate arrangements, and anyone trying to make a connection between the two is simply trying to scare our customers," said Dish programming executive Dave Shull to Reuters.
Since Oct. 1, Fox cable channels FX and National Geographic — as well as 19 regional sports channels — have been blacked out on Dish Network, with the satellite TV provider unwilling to agree to what it describes are demands for 50 percent rate hikes for those channels.
Separately, Dish's carriage deal for Fox local stations is set to expire on Oct. 31.
The possible upshot? The 14.4 million Dish subscribers who are missing shows like FX's "Sons of Anarchy" now could soon be losing NFL games and "Glee," too.
For their part, Fox officials deny that they're asking for 50 percent rate hikes.
"We're not asking anything from Dish that we're not already receiving from our other partners," Mike Hopkins, the senior executive leading negotiations for Fox, told Reuters.