Dish drops NFL Network, NFL RedZone amid fee dispute
By Malathi Nayak
(Reuters) - Satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp blacked out the National Football League-owned sports channels, NFL Network and NFL RedZone, the first time the league has been dropped by a TV services provider, the NFL said.
The NFL channels went dark on Dish's network on Thursday evening, after a disagreement over distribution fees.
“Our contract with NFL Network has expired. We remain open to a fair offer that allows us to carry this content at an appropriate value to our customers," Dish said in a statement.
The NFL said it currently reaches 60 million homes and has set up a website that lists television networks that still carry its channels so viewers can watch games through other providers such as Comcast Corp's XFINITY and AT&T Inc's DIRECTV. www.iwantnflnetwork.com
Dish is also locked in a battle with Tribune Media Co over fees to carry Tribune-owned stations and cable network WGN America.
Cable and satellite TV distributors are increasingly negotiating hard with programmers, resisting demands for price increases to carry content at a time when viewers are being drawn to Netflix Inc, Amazon Prime and other online services. Such contract standoffs have made blackouts commonplace in the television industry. Continued...