Dish, Sling TV score new NFL Network deal in time for Sunday football

Dish Network
Mission Broadcasting stations – including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC broadcast channels – were blacked out on Dish in 21 markets across 18 states over the weekend. (Dish Network)

After ditching the channels earlier this year, Dish Network and Sling TV were able to reach new distribution deals for NFL Network and NFL Red Zone in time for the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season.

Both channels have been restored to the satellite service and the Sling TV Blue package. In June, the channels were dropped from both services after the companies were unable to reach a new carriage agreement.

“NFL Media remains committed to negotiating an agreement and has offered terms consistent with those in place with other distributors,” the league said in a statement in June.

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“We’re excited to have reached an agreement that benefits all parties, most importantly our customers and NFL fans,” said Andy LeCuyer, senior vice president of programming at Dish, in a statement. “Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through the negotiations.”

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Not every NFL fan/Dish Network subscriber had a happy opening weekend to the football season. Mission Broadcasting stations – including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC broadcast channels – were blacked out on Dish in 21 markets across 18 states over the weekend.

“Mission proudly claims on its website that its stations ‘provide free over-the-air programming,’ but clearly their actions could not run more counter to that claim,” said Brian Neylon, president of Dish TV. “Not only is Mission trying to force Dish customers to pay an outrageous 50% price increase for the same old content, they are also demanding payment from customers who don’t even subscribe to local channels. It makes no sense.”

Mission countered the satellite provider's claims and called the negotiations “typical behavior for Dish.”

"All we are asking for is the same fair agreement we have come to with each of our other cable, satellite and teleco providers. Mission has a long track record of negotiating fairly and avoiding service interruptions in our markets.  That's simply not the case with Dish. We don't want any of our viewers in our local markets to miss these the start of the NFL season or the basketball and hockey playoffs. But, once again, Dish has decided to take advantage of its subscribers,” said Dennis Thatcher, Mission Broadcasting's president, in a statement.