Dish Network: No Yao, but not for the usual reasons

Fox vs. Dish Network: Rockets Fans Need Alternative Plans

The Rockets' season opens tonight, and if history is any guide, you'll want to catch the early-season games -- you know, the ones before Yao Ming goes down with an injury.

That's easy enough tonight -- they're on TBS TNT -- but after that, things get dicey if you're a Dish Network subscriber.

Fox and Dish Network are engaged in a pointless dispute that has kept Fox's regional networks off Dish for awhile. That's only affected Astro games, which were of little interest by the time they left the air, and some UT games, which haven't been that great to watch anyway.

Now, though, it's the Rockets.

(Major stuff, like the World Series and NFL games, are still available on Dish Network because they come through Fox affiliates, not Fox s regional networks. That may change November 1 if the dispute drags on -- just ask New Yorkers who are Cablevision subscribers.)

The battle is all over tedious stuff like how much Dish should be charged for carrying the Fox cable channels.

Dish has set up such websites as www.weofferedfoxafairdeal.com, and how that domain name was still available we'll never know.

Fox has the equally clever website www.getwhatipaidfor.com.

Wade through it all if you must, but it's just two huge corporations bluffing each other while the consumer suffers. Including, for the foreseeable future, Rocket fans.

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