Fox News, currently locked in both a negotiation battle and social media war with the Dish Network, has been taking a beating in the ratings since the Dish blackout began, according to the International Business Times.
For the week ending Dec. 28, Fox News averaged 939,000 prime-time viewers, down from 1.65 million viewers the previous week and 1.68 million the week before that, according to Nielsen Media.
Although television viewership traditionally drops during Christmas/New Year holiday week, Fox’s collapse is almost 12 percent lower when compared to the same week last year. The drop is understandable as Dish Network’s 13 million subscribers represent approximately 13.4 percent of the pay-TV market.
Dish Television dropped both Fox News and the Fox Business Network on Dec. 21, citing an impasse in negotiations with the Fox, claiming the network is leveraging its most popular programming in order to extort higher fees for less desirable channels.
In a public relations battle with Dish, Fox set up a Facebook page allowing their loyal viewers to vent at the satellite provider, while encouraging them to drop their Dish subscriptions.
Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen recently issued a video response to Fox, decrying their tactics and calling it “extortion.”
“Ironically, Fox News would be the first network to decry this kind of deal-making,” Ergen said. “There’s nothing about this extortion attempt that was fair or balanced.”
Despite the ratings drop, Fox News still beats competitors CNN and MSNBC with almost twice the total prime-time viewership.