It’s been over three weeks since DISH Network dropped Fox News from their channel lineup in a dispute over money, and now Fox is upping the ante and playing hardball. They’re running a brand new ad which encourages viewers to drop the satellite television company, which has 14 million subscribers, and switch to another provider.

The ad features popular Fox hosts Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly claiming that DISH is censoring them and is titled, “DISH is censoring your news! Switch providers now!”

Never mind that the Fox Network is demanding that DISH pay them more money for another Fox-affiliated channel (not Fox News) despite the fact that Dish’s contract for the other channel would not have expired for some time,” according to DISH CEO Charlie Ergen.

Warren Schlichting, DISH’s senior vice president of programming, said:

“It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well. Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”

Fox isn’t the first channel to be removed from DISH over a contract dispute. CNN, The Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting, and even CBS affiliated channels have all been blacked out on DISH at various times.

The Fox News ad, which aired during the widely viewed NFL football playoff games this weekend, encourages viewers to switch to another network, such as DirecTV.

Fox News suit Tim Carry claims that DISH has lost 90,000 subscribers since the network was taken off the air. That figure, along with the thousands of Fox-bots who have called DISH to complain or have sent angry emails, has apparently emboldened the right-wing news network to play hardball.

To replace Fox News, DISH has tried to appease Fox-bots by airing Glenn Beck’s The Blaze channel and Newsmax’s TV channel.

The “censorship” mantra is just another sensationalist tactic by Fox that plays right into the paranoid “everyone is out to get us” narrative espoused by many conservatives, especially in regards to the media. Fox-bots believe that their beloved channel is the only place where they can receive “fair and balanced” news while all the other television news outlets are in cahoots with liberals.

Clearly, by airing two right-wing news channel in Fox’s place, the DISH network is not engaging in censorship.

But good luck in convincing their malleable viewers that this is nothing more than Fox News playing hardball in their negotiations with DISH.

We’ll see which side blinks first in the coming days. Or weeks.

Watch the Fox News “we’re being censored” ad below.

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