Q. I am still going nuts over losing Fox on my TV with Dish. But at least we have Thursday Night Football. Well, until a friend told me that they might not have it. What’s the deal here? — Glenn, Big Spring, Texas.
Update: Dish and Fox announced on October 6 that they have signed a new deal, ending the blackout.
Glenn, as you know, on September 26, Dish and its live streaming service, Sling TV, lost the local Fox affiliates in 16 markets, as well as FS1, FS2, the Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, due to a carriage dispute with Fox.
(This should not be confused with Dish’s carriage battle with the Fox regional sports channels, which actually are now owned by Sinclair. Dish and Sling TV have been without the regionals since July 26. The Dish-regional sports fight is part of a separate agreement.)
Fox, which is producing and broadcasting Thursday Night Football, last week allowed Dish and Sling subscribers to watch its simulcast broadcast of the Packers-Eagles game on the NFL Network. Why the network made an exception is unclear, but it might be because the Fox-Dish dispute began shortly before kickoff. Fox perhaps was not prepared to black out the NFL Network edition on Dish and Sling.
However, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that multiple sources tell him that tonight’s game will be blacked out unless Dish and Fox reach a new carriage deal before kickoff.
“SBJ Media: NFL Network will black out “Thursday Night Football” to Dish Network and Sling TV subs tomorrow if Fox and Dish don’t have a carriage agreement by kickoff.,” he tweeted last night.
Ourand is one of the industry’s top sports media reporters so you can go to the bank on this. He also writes that Fox and Dish are negotiating, which is a good sign, but it’s unclear if they will settle before tonight.
Let me add that the blackout will only cover the 16 Dish and Sling markets where Fox owns the local affiliate. To see a list of the Fox-owned local stations, click here.
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— Phillip Swann