Q. I miss my local sports channel showing the Phoenix Suns games on Dish. Do you think this fight will end anytime soon? Is there anything new going on with the negotiations? I know the owner is having a similar fight with some of the streamers like YouTube TV. What’s the deal with this? — Lorenzo, Mesa, Arizona.
Lorenzo, as you know, Dish (and Sling TV) have been missing the 21 Sinclair-owned, Fox-named regional sports channels since July 26, 2019 due to a carriage dispute. Sinclair last year also blacked out the channels on the live streamers Fubo TV, Hulu Live and YouTube TV in separate fee fights.
Some analysts said last year that the live streamers would likely bring the channels back when the new NBA and NHL seasons began this winter. However, the NBA’s 2020-21 season began two weeks ago and the NHL season drops puck next week and there’s not even a hint of a settlement. (As longtime readers of the TV Answer Man know, I said the disputes would likely continue into 2021, which they have.)
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The only thing that’s new in this debacle is the calendar, which is not insignificant. The fact that the live streamers did not cave when the NBA season began suggests the blackout could go on for several more weeks, or months. If the streamers (and Dish) are prepared to take the heat for not having the channels when the NBA starts, they are likely prepared to take it for weeks into the season as well.
(See why many subscribers think Sinclair deserves the blame for these disputes.)
The beginning of the MLB’s 2021 season, which could be April if Covid-19 cooperates, might encourage both sides to return to the negotiating table in March. But if Dish and the live streamers are still having trouble generating new subscribers (and, therefore, additional revenue), that might not matter. (Dish is actually more likely to settle when it has to renegotiate its contract with Sinclair for its 100 plus local channels. See this article for more information.)
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if we get more information. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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There is the possibility that the Sinclair Fox/Bally Regional Sports Networks might never return to Hulu Live TV, Fubo TV, & YouTube TV, Sling TV, & Dish Network. Sinclair is talking about creating a streaming services that would offer their Regional Sports Networks. I do not know what the monthly price would be. I have a feeling that if the Sinclair Regional Sports Networks do return to the streaming services, Dish Network & Sling TV would be the last services to return them.
I’m a YTTV subscriber….I have yet to miss any of the regional sports channels.
I’m confused by this comment? Do you mean that YTTV hasn’t dropped the regional sports networks, so they’re not “missing”? Or do you mean you don’t miss having them?
I had YTTV and when they initially dropped the RSNs la year or so ago I switched to Hulu Live TV. But shortly after I switched I had heard that YTTV settled with Sinclair, so did they bring back the RSNs? Obviously this website doesn’t think they have.
YouTube Tv does not carry the Fox regional sports channels.
Quite a few readers here seem to know about the upcoming RSN streaming service that will be branded Bally’s Sports. Curious why you haven’t mentioned it…unless I missed it.
No launch dates. Not even a month. When it gets real, I will.
Seems they are missing out on a market. As a streaming service with ads they should get more direct revenue. End users like myself would finally gain the cord cutters dream of only paying for the sports they actually want to watch rather than what is being forced as packages from online providers.