Dish and Fox.

The last big carriage battle ended without AT&T/DirecTV dropping ESPN networks, but Dish Network’s dispute with Fox looks like a different story.

Fox delivered a statement on the matter, and it’s probably exactly what you’re expecting:

(Okay, that burn at the end was pretty good.)

Dish Network’s version of events:

It’s a tactic that could see some pretty sharp blowback, coming as it does on Thursday afternoon ahead of a fall football weekend, the time of year when outages are most likely to piss Americans off. BTN being included might be the biggest driver here; at least some people looking to watch the NFL on network FOX can simply use an antenna to pick it up over the air. BTN has two games scheduled on Saturday (Indiana at Michigan State, Rutgers at Michigan), and FS1 has a Friday night game between Penn State and Maryland. Dish and Sling customers have no OTA option there.

Of course, what Dish Network is counting on is public pressure on Fox, which is why Fox is naturally pointing out that customers can go elsewhere. It’s not the first time it’s happened; earlier this summer, for example, Dish and Sling dropped the Fox RSNs.

It’s a fine line, and if a deal isn’t reached before the games start this weekend, Dish better hope they’re right.

UPDATE: According to Ourand, Dish Network were the ones who pulled the channels from their service as Fox execs told Dish they could have channels running as negotiations continue.

[John Ourand, Twitter]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.