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Contract Dispute May Cause Dish To Balk During World Series

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News
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DISH (CBSDFW.COM) – While many North Texans were gearing up for game one of the World Series Wednesday, some fans were already worried about games five, six and seven.

Dish Network is in a contract dispute with Fox, the network carrying the World Series. It could drop the channel Nov. 1 if an agreement isn’t reached. That could leave one entire town out of luck.

In the small Denton County community of Dish, gas drilling was recently the major controversy, but now the town’s namesake is the new point of contention.

The town officially changed its name from Clark to Dish in 2005, after winning a Dish Network promotional contest.

As a result, everyone in the community gets the basic Dish Network package for free until 2015.

In the town of about 200 people, a decade of free satellite service was all good and well, that is, until the Texas Rangers made the World Series. Now, their sole provider is in a contract dispute with the channel carrying the games.

“If they cut it off there’ll be many problems,” said Gerald Millican, who just moved to Dish, but has been a Dish Network subscriber for years. “None of us like threats, don’t threaten me.”

Many residents may be at the end of the road unless an agreement is made soon. Dish Network has already stopped carrying FX, National Geographic and Fox Sports, which are all owned by Fox.

Nov. 1, it could stop carrying the main broadcast channel as well, which is airing the World Series.

“There would obviously be some folks concerned if we didn’t get to view the World Series,” said Mayor Calvin Tillman. “Certainly the first time the Rangers have ever been there, this is a historic time for this area.”

Millican just moved to Dish but has been a Dish Network subscriber for years.

“You know, the Rangers and the World Series, this is a one-time thing,” Millican said. “It’s never happened before, it may not ever happen again, we don’t know.”

“I think it’s awesome,” said Rangers fan Donny Rankin. “I didn’t think it would happen in my life time.”

Donny Rankin will definitely be able to watch the games.

The Rangers’ fan lives right across the street from Dish Town Hall but neither his home nor his satellite service are Dish.

“I have Direct TV,” he said with a laugh, “I couldn’t care less.”

For those who do have Dish Network, they tell said the contract dispute is a losing situation for both the companies and the customers if a compromise isn’t made.

“If they don’t get this worked out it’s going to be a black eye for everybody involved,” Millican said.

Even if an agreement isn’t reached, the World Series will still be available over the air to those who have an antenna.