Today, DISH is delivering their fourth quarter, year-end financial results. During the call, DISH has just commented that they would love to do a deal that would bring FOX regional sports networks back to DISH and Sling TV customers, saying that it would have to be the “right deal.”
Fox regional sports networks were dropped by DISH in September 2019. At the time, DISH and FOX each pointed the finger at each other when it came to explaining why the channels had been dropped.
These were the statements given at the time.
“Dish/Sling is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers,” said Fox, according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. “Dish/Sling elected to drop Fox networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH/Sling’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the Fox services are widely available through every other major television provider.”
“Taken together, Fox’s actions are profoundly anti-consumer,” said Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of Programming. “Fox is raising prices and turning its back on its public obligation to provide channels to consumers for free. It’s clear that Fox cares more about padding its bottom line than serving its viewers. To add insult to injury, Fox pulled its channels right as viewers head into the heart of the NFL and college football season,” continued LeCuyer. “We ask Fox to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal.”
This decision halted negotiations at the time, but it seems that DISH is now ready to come back to the table and revisit a deal. There was talk on the call of adding the FOX channels to higher tiers, rather than including them in basic packages. The question now is whether both sides will be able to find a compromise that will benefit each of them, along with DISH and Sling TV subscribers.
Correction: the original version of this post said that all FOX channels were removed from Sling TV. The post has been updated to show that Sling TV lost only FOX regional sports networks.
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