Dish ditches NFL Network, NFL RedZone in carriage dispute

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has dropped the NFL Network and NFL RedZone after failing to come to terms on a carriage renewal agreement, the National Football League said.

NFL Network, which is not offered in Dish's basic tier, went dark for about 7 million of the satellite TV operator's 14 million homes Thursday. According to SNL Kagan, the channel has an average monthly per-subscriber cost of around $1.31, making it one of the multichannel universe's most expensive networks.

"We remain open to a fair offer that allows us to carry this content at an appropriate value to our customers," a Dish spokesman said.

The impasse with the NFL comes as Dish is also locked in a blackout with Tribune Broadcasting. That rhetoric-filled dispute has 42 network affiliates in 33 markets pulled off Dish.

For its part, the NFL said that it's the first time in the NFL Network's 13-year history that it's been taken off the grid of a pay-TV operator.

The NFL Network has broadcast rights to 18 regular-season Thursday night NFL games, eight of those exclusively. The league has set up the proverbial website full of alternative pay-TV choices, www.iwantnflnetwork.com, informing visitors that the network and the smaller RedZone are available on DirecTV (NYSE: T), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ).

For more:
- read this NFL press release
- read this Reuters story
- read this Wall Street Journal story

Related articles:
Tribune calls Dish offer 'hollow,' proposes letting FCC monitor negotiations
Dish asks Tribune to submit to 'baseball-style arbitration,' says it worked for NBCU deal
Dish blacked out by 42 Tribune stations

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