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Fox local channels go dark for millions of Dish customers

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp <DISH.O> said on Thursday that millions of its customers have lost access to Fox Corp’s <FOXA.O> local channels across 23 states and the District of Columbia, after the companies failed to agree to a new contract.

The media company has also removed cable networks FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, Dish said. Fox said Dish elected to drop its networks in an effort to coerce it to agree to “outrageous” demands.

“Fox is demanding a double-digit percentage rate increase for continued carriage of its local channels,” Dish said.

Conflicts between satellite TV providers and media companies have become increasingly common as viewers migrate to streaming services such as Netflix Inc <NFLX.O> and Inc’s <AMZN.O> Prime Video, leading to declines in viewership.

Shares of Dish fell nearly 3% and Fox shares dropped about 2% in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)