Q. I see that Dish made a deal to get back some Fox sports channels and the Fox local channels. Will this deal help Dish get the Fox regional sports channels back? After all, it’s the same darn company! — Eddie, Nashville.
Eddie, as you note, Dish on Sunday signed a new carriage agreement with Fox that ended an 11-day blackout of FS1, FS2, the Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes and local Fox affiliates in 16 markets. Sling TV is also part of the deal, although the Dish-owned live streaming service doesn’t carry each Fox channel.
So it might seem logical that Sunday’s agreement with Fox would lead to an agreement with the Fox regional sports channels. Right?
Well, actually, probably not.
The problem is that the Fox regional sports channels are not owned by Fox, although they used to be. Sinclair, the broadcaster that owns more than 100 local channels, purchased the 22 Fox regional sports channels from Disney in August. (Disney previously purchased them from Fox.)
I know this is confusing. The Fox regionals still carry the Fox name, but they are owned by a different company, and they part of a separate carriage agreement with Dish and Sling TV.
So Sunday’s deal has nothing to do with Dish’s agreement with the Fox regional sports channels, which were removed from the satcaster on July 26 when that contract expired.
However, I will suggest that the new Fox pact could increase the chances of Dish striking a deal with Sinclair because it will allow the company to focus more attention on that negotiation rather than having to be concerned about two major negotiations.
In addition, the NBA season begins in two weeks while the NHL season has already begun. The Fox regionals have the rights to teams in both leagues so Dish might be more inclined now to make a deal before more sports fans decide to drop their subscriptions.
Eddie, hope that helps. Happy viewing!
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— Phillip Swann