TV Answer Man, I saw something on a forum that said Dish is getting rid of our regional sports channels this week, including MASN. Is that true? Why would they do this? This is opening day week! — Toni, Bowie, Maryland.
Toni, Dish and Sling TV (owned by Dish) have said they will lose three NBC Sports regional sports networks on April 1 due to a carriage dispute with their owner, NBC Sports.
The channels are NBC Sports Washington (TV home of Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals), NBC Sports California (TV home of the Oakland Athletics, San Jose Sharks, Sacramento Kings) and NBC Sports Bay Area (TV home of San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors).
“As of 4/12/021, NBC Regional Sports Networks will no longer be on (Dish and) SLING. We are committed to providing the best value with the flexibility our customer’s deserve and, unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement on those terms,” the company said in an early March e-mail to customers.
Since that announcement, there has been no indication that Dish and NBC will settle their differences prior to the April 1 deadline.
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But Dish has now revealed at its Dish Promise web page that it will also lose the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, better known as MASN, on April 1 as well. MASN is the TV home of the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. (Sling TV has not carried MASN since the streamer’s launch in 2015.)
Update on April 1: All four channels have been removed.
This is just the latest in a long line of fee fights between Dish and regional sports networks. The satcaster, which now carries just a few RSNs, such as the Longhorn Network, says the cost of carrying them far exceeds the value they provide to subscribers.
Dish says it has proposed to both MASN and NBC Sports that it be permitted to offer their channels a la carte, meaning subscribers could purchase them separately from their programming bundles. This is how Dish, and most pay TV operators, sell premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.
“The current Regional Sports Network model is fundamentally broken as it requires nearly all customers to pay for these channels – when in fact only a small percentage of customers watch them,” Dish states. “As the cost of these channels continue to escalate, we no longer think it makes sense to include them in our TV lineup. Our proposal to offer sports fans access to RSNs is simple, and provides choice and value to all of our customers.”
The satcaster adds: “DISH’s proposal would allow our customers to choose to subscribe to the RSN channels on an a la carte basis, similar to premium channels like Starz or Showtime. With this updated RSN model, no customer would be forced to pay for content they don’t watch and the RSNs would determine the price customers would pay for their channels. DISH has made this proposal to NBC and MASN, but they haven’t been willing to accept, choosing instead to demand payment from nearly all customers. We continue to remain open that the Regional Sports Networks will work with us to offer their content in a way that provides choice and value to all customers.”
MASN has not commented on the dispute, but odds appear slim it will be resolved before April 1, which marks the opening of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. This would deny Dish subscribers in the Washington/Baltimore market the opportunity to see the National and Orioles games when they return to action this week.
Giants and A’s fans will also be unable to see their home town teams if the NBC dispute is not settled before April 1.
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Forcing non-sports viewers to pay for RSNs they don’t watch is an old model that streaming is killing. The fault is with the content owner, not the provider. It’s an ala carte world with SVOD and AVOD. Change and reality are the tough teachers of progress.
So you’re okay with all the infomercial channels to get a better boner, flabby ass fix and turkey neck are okay to pay for? There are more infomercial channels on Dish than there are actual channels to watch. Dish CEO Charlie Ergen made 95 MILLION last year and they are crying poor to everyone. Total con job.
Many of these info stations either pay to be carried or they are forced upon the providers so they can carry other more popular channels. I’ve always said, I appreciate Dish fighting these pay increases because they were really the pioneers in doing so. These content owners are insulated from the ultimate customer and so as long as the providers just cave in and pay more these providers then have to turn around and charge more. Sure it sucks to lose a channel but if you whine about it then the content owners win and we all lose.
I hope things are getting so expensive that folks start opting to do without. Only then will these content owners realize they’ve priced themselves out of the market.
Dish is doing what Most Customers Want.
Al-la-carte is the ONLY way to go for sports.
There are Millions of viewers that have NO interest in sports.
Making them pay for them is Killing Cable and Satellite
I have no interest in the Spanish stations, swamp fishing alligator hunting network but I have to deal with them in order to get the other channels I want.. so tell me sTaylor why should I pay for these channels.. Making it all al la carte is gonna drive the prices up for all the channels
I come here again to say I stand 100% with Dish here as they fight these cost increases. If they don’t, I literally have no recourse and would have to pay the continual price increases. I found an email address for one of the execs and I sent them a note. I’m an avid Giants and Sharks fan but I’ll gladly do w/o the games while Dish pushes back on the greedy increases.
Don’t come here and complain about missing out on games and then later complain that your costs went up. Reach out to your local NBC Sports Channel and tell them to knock it off.
RSN may take la carte with an BIG butt. Say min time 6mo – 1 year No dropping the cubs channel when the season is over.
Or Do things like $15/mo 6mo or $150 season
ESPN can command $12-$15/mo but not higher then hbo cost. Maybe $17-$20 for ESPN, ESPN + Content , ESPN College Extra, ESPN channels in sports packs.
Disney Channel is ad free and should be an premium service again (add in Disney XD, Disney_Junior, maybe an Disney movie channel for $15. Offer an ESPN / Disney combo for $25 /mo
The RSN owners know their current models are not sustainable. The underlying expensive contracts with the the sports leagues and their teams are fueling the increases. Most visitors to MGZC Media TV understand they are being fleeced by sports programming. The RSNs attempts to put the blame on the pay TV providers are no longer having the same effect. That’s why on our site we lead folks to TV Answer Man, Cord Cutters News, and provide tips where they can save some money. Staying informed with reliable information is very important. Content distribution is evolving while more options are becoming available. There are even free sports channels appearing on AVOD services. Embrace the change.
While I have no sympathy for the RSNs and the relatively high fees they seek to obtain from video distributors, DISH’s approach that only interested viewers should pay for the service would equally apply to most of the channels, or networks, it provides on its service. If sports programming should be on an ala carte basis, why shouldn’t that also apply to all the other channels/networks? Most viewers don’t watch most of the channels/networks an MVPD (multichannel video program distributor) provides, but they still have to pay for all those unwatched channels/networks. I occasionally watch regional sports networks, but not regularly, and would much rather pay for those services than all the other services I never watch that I have no choice but to pay for as part of the bundle I receive. An interesting question to pose to DISH: Once its contracts with the RSNs it is dropping end, and they are no longer carried, will they reduce the price of their service to reflect the fee payments it is no longer making to carry those services? I doubt it. DISH’s interests are not for the consumer, but for its own bottom line, and it does what it thinks will most benefit its bottom line (like most/all such service providers).
Charlie Ergen, the Chairman and founder of DishTV and later of Sling has said for the last 20 years that I’ve had DishTV that he wants a Ala Carte System for Dish.
However, none of the provides will allow that. That is why Dish has many of the disputes that they have had over the years. He has given them the option every time with the RSN’s that option.
Though you of course will still get the shopping channels since they pay to be on the service. Though it is easy to block them on a Hopper.
Nope. I asked already about reducing my DISH bill and have been told 3 times no.
The RSF in my area are an EXTRA CHARGE they Tack ON to Higher Packages.
Those should be Completely OPTIONAL (Al-A-Carte) and Separate..
The other NON sports channels are Pennies compared to the OUTRAGEOUS Sport CHARGES
If ALL Sports are SEPARATE from regular TV Packages, the prices could go Down.
But they need to Throttle ALL Channels prices.
Very sad day for Dish. I can’t believe Dish lost the NBC Washington Regional Sports Networks. Washington area fans are died hard fans and will leave Dish TV/ and will find a provider that will give them what they contracted for. The very 1st question I asked Dish was “do you provide my local sports teams. They said “yes” and I signed up with Dish!!! and now its gone. I’m going back to my provider before I came on with Dish.
What did you have before dish
watched free TV and sports was on regular tv FREE
I was looking forward to watching the bay area teams since I live in the Fresno area. These channels were the only ones where I could watch all the Giants and A’s games and now I only will get a few on channels like ESPN or Fox. Dish has lost other channels too and I find it harder and harder to watch anything except re-runs or movies. Baseball was going to be my escape from that and now those channels are gone!
I’m with those that say..okay if you are no longer paying those RSNs a ton of money why aren’t those savings being passed on to subscribers by reducing what they pay for basic DishTV??