Dish and Sinclair announced today that they have reached a multi-year carriage agreement to keep Sinclair’s 144 local stations and the Tennis Channel on Dish TV and Sling TV. The deal did not include Sinclair-owned Bally Sports Networks.
The regional sports networks were dropped by Dish Network in Summer 2019. At that time, Dish sent Cord Cutters News the following statement: “DISH and Sling has offered the Fox Regional Sports Networks a short-term extension, in an effort to quickly negotiate a fair, long-term deal for our customers. The RSNs offered an extension that would put the new expiration date up against the 2020 Major League Baseball Opening Day. They want to use baseball fans as negotiation leverage, while continuing to get paid in the meantime for sports with lower viewership. Coming to a fair deal is in the interest of customers, not a nine-month extension that simply puts them in the middle again.”
Soon after, Dish commented that it was “unlikely” that the sports channels would return to Dish and Sling. Today’s deal seems to solidify that that’s the case, with no mention of ongoing negotiations for the RSNs.
Today’s announncement of the multi-year deal for locals and the Tennis Channel said: “We are pleased to have reached a multi-year agreement with Sinclair after months of negotiations,” said Brian Neylon, group president, DISH TV. “Sinclair has been a good long-term partner to work with. Both sides have been committed to keeping our customers top of mind and not putting them in the middle of our negotiations. After several contract extensions, we have arrived at a fair agreement that benefits all parties, especially our customers.”
Currently, DIRECTV STREAM is the only option for streaming Bally Sports RSNs.