Dish and Sinclair Broadcast Group are close to a carriage deal which will likely include both the Sinclair-owned 112 local channels and the 19 Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs), according to a report last night from Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand.
The current agreement between the two companies was set to expire on August 16 and Sinclair issued a pre-deadline press release saying it was likely that Dish would lose its local channels because a new agreement was not likely by then.
However, Sinclair revealed on August 16 that it had reached a short-term extension with Dish, and Ourand later wrote that they approved another extension until mid-September. The Sports Business Journal reporter wrote last night a new extension takes the current pact into mid-October, which sources tell him that it’s an indicator a deal is close.
“Sources say the extensions are evidence that a deal is close at hand and likely will include carriage for Sinclair’s Bally Sports RSNs,” Ourand says.
Dish has been without the regional sports nets since July 2019 due to a separate carriage dispute. But even if a new deal is signed, Ourand writes that the satcaster may not resume carrying them until shortly before the 2022 Major League Baseball season. The Bally Sports nets have the regional TV rights to dozens of MLB, NHL and NBA teams.
“It’s unlikely Dish will pick up the RSNs this year,” the Sports Business Journal report states. “It’s more likely that Dish will have them by MLB’s opening day in the spring.
But SBJ’s Ourand reports that a new deal for both the Sinclair locals and the sports channels is likely “within the next eight weeks”
It’s unclear how the new pact, if approved, would affect Sling TV, the Dish-owned multi-channel, live streaming service. Sling also has been without the Sinclair regional sports nets since July 2019.
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