After heavily promoting its availability of college football-related programming all summer, Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) revealed that it's blacking out four opening-weekend games on Fox Sports 1.
Dish posted this message on its Sports Value blog along with a schedule of games subscribers won't be seeing. (Screenshot: Dish)
Posting on its Dishsportsvalue.com blog, Dish said, "Unfortunately, you're visiting this website because a Fox Sports 1 event is not available on Dish. Fox agreed to pay an inflated price for certain sports events on Fox Sports 1. Now, Fox is demanding we pay them a significant additional charge to carry these events. We are unwilling to pass these costs on to our customers."
The blackout concerns four Labor Day weekend games, including Rutgers vs. Washington State, Colorado State. vs. Colorado, North Dakota State vs. Iowa State and SMU vs. Baylor.
Fox Sports 1 commands a carriage fee nationally of around 50 cents per subscriber. It's unclear what additional fees Fox is trying to collect for these games, none of which are marquee matchups.
Dish has been corporately vocal about the availability of college-focused regional sports networks on its service, including the just-launched SEC Network and the Pac-12 Network.
The service's humorous "Back to College" ad campaign even received a bit of social media praise, featuring notorious college stars who turned out to be NFL busts, such as Brian Bosworth and Matt Leinart, making good-natured, self-deprecating cameo appearances.
Separately, Dish's rival, DirecTV, issued a statement last week as it enters a third consecutive college football season without a carriage deal with Pac-12 Networks. DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) continues to hold the position that the most coveted Pac-12 games are already available on national outlets like ESPN and ABC.
"We remain in contact with the Pac-12 and are open to exploring any options to provide Pac-12 Network that offer the right value to all of our customers, whether they are Pac-12 fans or not," the DirecTV statement reads. "Fortunately, dozens of the best Pac-12 football games are always available to all DirecTV fans courtesy of channels like ABC, Fox, NBC, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and other networks.
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