Dish is now without at least 236 channels due to eight different carriage battles that span from last Wednesday to 25 months ago. The blacked-out channels include 212 local network affiliates, and 24 premium or regional sports networks.
The oldest fight dates back to November 2018 when Dish, and its live streaming service, Sling TV, lost both HBO and Cinemax after Dish could not reach a new carriage agreement with the channels’ owner, AT&T. (There has been no indication since that the parties will ever settle.) The most recent fee fight started last Wednesday when Dish lost 164 Nexstar-owned local channels (and WGN America) when the companies failed to reach a new deal.
Update: Dish & Nexstar sign deal; end blackout.
In most of the battles, if not all, money is the root of disagreement. Dish has contended the other side is asking for an unreasonable increase in fees while the broadcaster/programmer usually counters that it’s no more than what others have paid.
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Dish is right that rival pay TV operators have engaged in more carriage battles in the last few years as they look to reduce expenses to offset shrinking subscriber revenues triggered by cord cutting. In fact, AT&T’s TV services, including DIRECTV, just this week lost 60 Tegna-owned local channels in a rate clash.
But there’s no question that Dish is the king of the fee fight. In addition to the eight ongoing battles, Dish this year lost the NFL Network, the RedZone Channel and Scripps’ local channels before finally settling. Plus, two other broadcasting groups, Lilly and Apollo Global Management/Cox Media, are now threatening to remove a combined 28 local stations from Dish due to two more carriage disagreements. (The Apollo/Cox threat should not be confused with 14 Apollo/Cox stations that have already been removed from Dish in a separate fight.)
Dish maintains that the hardline stance it takes in negotiations enables it to keep subscriber fees down. And the satellite TV service does offer lower prices than many pay TV operators, including longtime rival, DIRECTV. For instance, Dish’s base plan, called America’s Top 120, features 190 channels and is available for $59.99 a month for two years. DIRECTV’s base plan, called Entertainment, has 160 channels and is also available for $64.99. But that’s only for the first year. Unlike Dish, which offers the $59.99 a month rate for two years guaranteed, DIRECTV’s base price goes to at least $97 a month in year two.
But Dish’s subscribers often take to this site, and others, to express their frustration with the constant interruption (or elimination) of favorite channels. Many say they would cancel Dish if they were not in a two-year contract that includes an early termination penalty.
Here is a rundown of the 236 channels that are now missing on Dish due to carriage fights:
Nexstar — 165 (164 local channels and WGN America)
Mission Broadcasting — 28 local channels
Sinclair-owned Regional Sports Channels — 21
Apollo/Cox — 14 local channels
Sunbeam Broadcasting — 3 local channels
Circle City Broadcasting — 2 local channels
HBO and Cinemax — 2 premium channels
Altitude Sports — 1 regional sports channel
Update: Dish also lost NBC Sports Chicago 13 months ago so the number is 237.
Update #2: Dish has settled its fights with Cox and Nexstar, bringing back 179 channels. However, Dish is involved in a new carriage battle with Capital Broadcasting, losing three more local channels. So as of January 8, 2021, Dish is now missing 61 channels due to fee fights.
Update: On January 29, Dish settled its fee fight with Mission.
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I am one of those Dish customers locked into a two year contract who would actually pay to get out if I could find another TV service that has the channels I want. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any service, streaming or satellite, that offers all the locals, the RSN’s (Atlanta Braves) and several other basic channels our family enjoys.
I came from DirecTV ($179 monthly) to Dish ($107 monthly) because of the cost savings but am so frustrated with the lost channels I would pay more again if I could get my favorites and know there won’t be a carriage dispute interruption two weeks after changing services. I hate to pay to get out of my contract only to have the same thing happen again with another service.
I actually paid for HULU Live to get the Atlanta Braves this year but now they’ve done away with the RSN’s…plus they are raising their rates again. Tried CBS All Access but there is too freezing so back to HULU for CBS locals while hoping Dish will actually resolve this fight for a change.
What’s left but AT&T Now which reeks of DirecTV’s pricing and future carriage disputes? It is ludicrous that customers are held hostage as the infighting continues! What happened to paying for a service and actually getting what you paid for…
Go back to Directv pay a huge amount for TV.
You can buy out of your Dish contract. Like $10 a month of what’s left in your contract. I love Dish and I want affordable TV and I love that Dish fights the pigs that want to charge more.
I don’t miss any of the channels that went dark on Dish.
CMD-> We would all be willing to pony up extra for the channels we want but the problem is the providers won’t allow Ala-carte programming. They want everyone to pay for my channel (Marquee Sports Network that carries the Cubs) when only a small percentage of the people want it. I had to buy a streaming package to get Marquee, but I will keep Dish because they still have the best bang for the buck in TV. If they buckled in to every provider that they are currently in conflict with their rates would be as high as Direct TV or Comcast.
We lost our RSN a month after subscribing to DISH. I was furious that they didn’t even warm me of that possibility. Before subscribing I specifically asked if it was available, I was assured that it was. I hated DISH so much, I paid over $2,000 for Spectrum to run their cable to our house. Now we have fast internet, 400 mbps, and our RSN. I am so happy to be done with DISH!! Good luck with getting your channels reinstated, you’re going to need it!!
I canceled my dish account for Spektrum and had them for 1 week and went back to dish and still ended up paying for the install and services for a month which cost me nearly 200.00 for nothing so screw Spektrum I have them for my internet but that is because there is no one better in my area with faster service or I would drop them all together.. I do however wish there was other ways to watch my local sports Lets Go Blues I honestly think it is because the Blues won the cup that Fox Sports Midwest has decided to hold us hostage because they are greedy SOB’s so I was around when sports was listened to on the radio so let’s all gather around the BOOM Box instead of the BOOB Tube..
Guessing you didn’t know you can port an over the air WiFi antenna into your dish receiver & get all of your local channels back. Pre Hopper receivers you just need the Over the air antenna & coax cable. Hopper receiver requires an over the air antenna+ Hopper adapter (coax to usb). Your distance from your local channel affiliate’s broadcast tower(s) & terrain between your house & broadcast tower determines which kind of antenna you need. I love about 30 miles from my local channel broadcast tower & I can pickup all of the local channels that split from Dish w/ one of the paper thin indoor over the air antennas hidden behind my TV. There is a setting in Dish receiver menu that you can run to detect local channels & then display the local channels received via over the air antenna & display those channels + program guides thru the Hopper channel guide. Can over record shows from the over the air channels w/ Hopper once they are set up in the guide. Really happy w/ Dish for setting this little known feature up. Amazing that I can still get all my local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, & local Fox—just not except WGN b/c I don’t live near Chicago). Only cost me price of 30 mile over the air antenna $25 the Dish coax to USB adapter $80–& I bought a $10 usb computer fan & $10 usb 1 male to 2 female connector that I have blowing across the adapter to keep it cool. Reviews on the adapter say it can get hot which can cause issues. Have mine set up inside a media cabinet & so far no heat issues w/ the fan blowing across the adapter.
This does not work for Fox Sports Midwest because it is not a air Broadcast channel it is only a Cable satellite broadcast channel
I am in the same boat, I’ve had dish for over 10 years and it has gotten so bad I’m trying to find a better way. Dish’s bs about fighting to keep cost down for customers is just that bs. Several years back they had the same price wars with their kids channels, we finally got the channels back and a nice $20 raise to our monthly bills. I think the major problem here is they have to keep prives up so their owner, ceo or whatever his title is gets him profits and yearly bonuses.
I’m 78 and my one real enjoyment was watching the KC Royals. Yes I could add MLB Extra Innings but I’m retired living on SS so not much available extra cash and why should I have to pay to see what was mine at the time I signed with dish. I no longer advise people to get Dish Network…
It is time to start reading again – They are fighting each other for you money while you are left with you finger up your nose…. I went OTA 2 years back and I am perfectly happy with all the content I can consume for $0.00 dollars per month. Evaluate you options.
I’m glad I drop dish direct was the first to go there are plenty app that are free I got all the channels including all the premium and I don’t pay a dime only my internet bill I good over here if you all want the app hit me up
I want the app.
Lost fox sports detroit. (Red wing fan) Went YouTube tv, shortly after they lost FSD.. Went to Hulu, shortly after they lost FSD.. not going to at&t. Way too expensive. Out of luck. The consumer takes it in the neck…..again.
And the name of the app and where to get it please
Several have asked for the app with no response. Does that mean you don’t really have one?
Answer Man-How about you? Any answer?
Dish wants the customer to pay the regular amount every month, but our channels are being taken away. That should not be allowed. Im not in contract. I think it’s time to move on.
I thinking the same way!!
I just tried the Hulu Live bundle and for $30 less than I’m paying, it will suffice for now. I may add Philo for the couple of channels not on Hulu and I’ll still be $10 less than I’m paying now. I’ll be cancelling Dish after 15 years on Monday.
I feel the same
I’ve called Dish twice re: this and got absolutely no help. It’s pretty frustrating. I’d leave in a flash if I could find a better provider.
We are on a 2 year contract & as soon as that is up we are done with this bullshit, & I hope everyone else is akso!! If it wasn’t for all of us (customers) none of these greedy assholes wouldn’t be around, they are making the customers go without channels that we pay for, this is ridiculous, I am so done with all of these damn companies! We will figure it out or not!! DONE!!!!
I’m stuck in a 2 year contract with Dish also. So sick of all this crap. Still paying $145.80 @ month & lost a bunch of channels! Can’t afford to get out of my contract but better believe i will be looking elsewhere soon as I can! Hate to lose all the channels but ota antenna is looking better & better. It’s a damn ripoff having to pay to watch TV to start with!!!!
I recently had my service turned off? And dish claims I had a contract? But how do u have a contract and be prepay? I never signed any contract????
I am also under contract and miserable. Once I’m out I will be gone for good from it all. I called Dish the other day and I asked them why so many QVC channels and they said to help pay for Dish. These channels are horrible and if bad weather breaks out and I’m unable to be advised due to this can I bring charges against them? Just asking
We have had dish for a long time. Finally getting rid of old equipment for hopper 3 . 2 year contract, hope we don’t loose a lot of channels.
It doesn’t seem to matter what company you use nowadays, we are all the losers in this… Our economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, loss of wages and the price of entertainment and essentials are becoming harder to afford… I’m so glad they only care about the silver lining of their pockets and not the well being of their customers… I truly hope that DISH will do right by its customers and looking into billing credits for those of us who have been paying for channels that are no longer available….
I am a good, pay on time, Dish customer and have been for going on 10 years! My bill has creeped up to 120/mo, and does not inc. Internet or any premium channels! I bundled when they recommended, unbundled when rec, and still cost does not come down. I hot an update on equip about 5 years ago, so I’m sure my current equipment needs updated. And charging equip fees on depreciated stuff. (7x12x10=840) I’m sure that’s enough for an extra box and remote that’s worth nothing now, but I’m still Chad each month. And I get separate $60 bill for internet… total of $180/mo for TV and internet of which I’m getting less than I did 5 years ago AND have to put up with even more unrelenting marketing and ad campaigns that now spill over to my phone and email!!!! Clogging up everything.
I used to like text msg cause you knew if you got one it was from someone you know. Not anymore…somehow I’m getting 800 marketing msgs. Everyday. Whew!!! Not sure what the answer is without a huge hassle, but it sure felt good to vent!
This is strictly greed!!.these corporations do not have the customer in mind .maybe if we all went back to antenna’s and let the cable and satellite company’s suffer financially they might get the message.
I was a dish customer for 12 years and finally had enough. Could not watch local live baseball games due to the rate fighting. So I’m now using YouTube TV. It’s been good so far and no contract.
Besides HBO, Dish has removed FSO and Big Ten networks and now two of our four locals, CBS and Fox. I’ve asked via FB Messenger for my usual $12 per month local channel charge to be cut in half but Dish won’t do it. We pay them $106 per month and they won’t even consider a $6 reduction for the channels they won’t provide!
Why should the customer be involved in this dispute??? We are the ones suffering, not the one that can’t run their programming. #DISHYOUREDOUNGITWRONG
You are right there,all they think about is themselves,they took our local channel away this week,how stupid is that with the weather issues we have hear in florida
Easy to say drop the satellite, but if you are in a rural area with it a good internet provider… Only
WHERE DO YOU GO FOR
I think it’s total bull crap that they move your local channels when you pay for your local channels they need to put your local channels back I mean that’s a whole reason that you get your dish is so you can have your local channels so dish bring back my local channels I live in Tennessee and I want my local channels 37711
I’ve had Dish for over 5 years and twice within a year I’ve lost FOX local and now NBC. I’ve probably lost more and haven’t discovered them yet. I thought for what I pay I had BET and I don’t so I’ve missed watching Obama on it and other shows. My daughter and I are unable to watch what we used to on FOX & NBC. We live in separate homes but watch some of the same shows. She said with the Firesticks we have we can watch the shows we’re missing. If I lose one more local channel I’m switching to cable. Most cable companies will pay your remaining commitment fees just for switching to them.
Breach of contract ??
Who else beside Dish caries German Language channels ?
What about NBC Sports Chicago? Has that channel been restored or is it still off DISH?
Nope, still gone, too.
I’ve never understood why anyone would PAY to watch TV with commercials–something is wrong with this picture!!!
I’m retired, but at no point did I ever feel that dragging my customers into a contract dispute would ever be at all professional. Work your dang contracts out in advance. Taking value away from customers and asking them to go after the supplier in your stead is a dirt move.
My brief experience with Dish (1 year a while back) was awful. The equipment didn’t work right, would often ‘lose signal’ with the dish ideally pointed, and the channel drops/disputes made me nuts.
Now I use an antenna with a tivo and Philo. And with black friday deals I get netflix, starz, disney+ and Hulu for about $17/mo more. So $300 up front in equipment, and $37/mo. All I don’t get is non local sports, most of which didn’t play this year and the ones that are I wish weren’t.
Time to get a movement to write to the advertisers for the channels that are removed. Once the advertisers realize their commercials aren’t getting out, they can pull them to the channels that are getting out. They rely on advertiser support….
remember when there were only three stations using an antenna. The commercials paid for the stations expenses. My question is why do providers like DirecTV pay these broadcast stations to carry their programming? The stations still sell advertising and having a bigger audience because of a satellite provider should mean higher revenue. So for the satellite company to pay for carrying the broadcast stations makes no sense whatsoever. The broadcast stations benefit from the larger audience don’t they?
Blacksburg South Carolina.
We can thank Congress. This broadcast fee was to protect local stations making cable pay broadcast fee which is passed on to us. Amount of revenue has grown to obscene amount.
We have no other option then Dish Network or DIRECT where we live. I would love to cut the cord, but our internet provider CenturyLink is slow and not strong enough to support an Amazon Fire Stick or a Roku device.
I complained to Dish and told them I feel like they are taking away all my local channels. They did give me the Heartland Package free for a month, but I would prefer to have my local stations back.
What am I to do if there is a severe storm or tornado headed in the direction of where I live. If I am down to two local channels, I am screwed. Especially, if they are not on the air yet and it is near my home.
Please Dish, I know you are fighting to keep rates low for your customers. Please make a reasonable offer to Nextstar and Apollo to get my local channels back.
Shame on YOU Nextstar for being greedy in a time when people are struggling to pay their bills as it is and the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic and people are losing their jobs and resources to get the money to pay their monthly bills as it is. Maybe they too are like me and have no other service to turn to! Greed is the root of ALL EVIL. AGAING, SHAME ON YOU NEXTSTAR FOR ASKING FOR AN EXORBITANT AMOUNT OF MONEY TO ALLOW DISH TO CARRY YOUR CHANNELS!!!!
Check out Starlink if it’s offered in your area. I’ve seen a few videos on it and it looks impressive.
Dish has an Over The Air (OTA) box that plugs into a USB port on the Hopper you hook an OTA antenna to and get your local channels integrated right into your guide. It has 2 OTA tuners. You can watch and DVR these channels seamlessly. It is awesome! In Chicago we lost WGN channel 9 (owned by Nexstar) but I don’t even notice as I still get the channel, can pause, rewind, FF, DVR just like it came thru the satellite. Dish needs to promote this device and tell Nexstar to stick it! Go into Settings, Parental Controls and block the removed channels (along with all the shopping channels and junk). This way, when I tune to channel 9 it goes to the OTA 9.1 channel instead of the removed one.
We, dish customers, losing channels but the monthly rate stays the same. I lost my local news and weather channel . If they cant, or want, work out a deal they need to.lower our rates. I.pay 89.00 monthly plus 13.00 for my local channels. I’m very disappointed in dish.
I am a dish customer that is locked in also and cannot afford to get out of my contract. I am living on SSI so I have a small income and don’t have the money to get out of my contract, I am furious with them because of this. They want $200 for me to cancel which I can’t afford but if I had it I would drop them really fast it’s not my fault if the stations got drop but I still have to pay them for it. It’s not right
ENOUGH OF THE MANUSHA. YOUR PROBLEMS ARE YOUR PROBLEMS. WHEN YOUR PROBLEMS BECOME MY PROBLEMS YOU HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM, CALLED LAW SUIT. WE SIGNED UP FOR 2 YRS FOR OUR TOTAL PACKAGE OF X # OF CHANNEL. SINCE OUR CHANNELS HAVE BEEN REDUCED I STRONGLY URGE THIS MATTER GET RESOLVED QUICKLY. RESTORE THE ORIGINAL AGREED AMOUNT FOR X# OF CHANNELS. YOU DONT EVEN OVER YOUE CUSTOMERS REFUNDS OR ADDITIONAL PREMIUM CHANNELS IE HBO.
SENT 12/7/2020 @ 9:56 AM
We need a class action lawsuit
i AGREE. WE CAN’T EVEN WATCH OUR LOCAL SPORTS TEAMS BUT WE CAN SEE ALL THE EAST COAST TEAMS THAT WE COULD CARE LESS ABOUT. WHEN I CALL THEY TELL ME THEY ARE NEGOTIATING BUT IT HAS BEEN A MONTH AND A HALF SINCE WE GOT THE SPORTS CHANNELS. ( SF BAY AREA)
Congress needs to pass a federal law that $10 a month be refunded for each channel dish of other providers drop during a current contract. Consumers should get exactly the channels they paid for the date they signed the contact.
I would love to see some type of Lawsuit. Glad I got out. I now have YouTube TV. It’s okay, cheaper than Dish.
What ever happened to the phase the customer always right!. Cable’s companies are about greed. I hope those companies lose millions of customers during their disputes, maybe then they will wake up. Current subscribers should be guaranteed all those channels they signed up for in their contract. I always thought if a contract is violated it break’s the contract ! All the customers could file for breach of contract leaving the cable companies responsible to repay each customer damages!
I’m all for joining all consumers and file a law suit against them all for Breach of contracts if you sign for channels and they take them away we should be able to breach our contracts just like they did by removing our services that we agreed to pay for any lawyers interested into looking into this or filing a lawsuit I want in my
just signed up with dish and thought I made sure I asked for Fox Sports Midwest 3 days after hook-up found out i was screwed I am a avid Blues and Cardinal fan talked to Dish Twice no response. I would pay for the channel so get an agreement .
DISH TV seems to no longer carry ME TV on Channel 247 as of Tuesday, Feb. 16th. It was my favorite network on DISH.
I’m giving Dish 1 week
Wth do I do? I have Century Link, & Dish. I’ve had no internet for 3 wks, tech said he came, knocked, nothing wrong. 2 wks later, called them again, got new modem/ slash router. Won’t work. Got overnighted newer modem, won’t work, 3+ hrs on phone myself & hub. Now they say they need to send a tech, for
NINETY NINE DOLLARS!!!
I have NEVER EVER had to pay a fee for a tech. So I looked into bundling, then I read all these Dish comments.
WE HAVE BEEN A DISH CUSTOMER FOR OVER 15 YEARS. RECENTLY WE LOST ALL OF OUR LOCAL SPORTS CHANNELS , CHANNELS 419 & 438 ARE NO LONGER ON THE MENU. WHEN I CALLED THEY SAID THEY WERE IN NEGOTIATIONS. THE SPORTS CHANNELS THAT WE NORMALLY GET ARE BLACKED OUT FOR OUR LOCAL SPORTS.
THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.