Sling TV and Dish Remove Regional Sports Networks and MASN

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Updated to include a statement from an NBC RSN spokesperson.

Dish announced today that MASN and NBC regional sports networks were removed from both Sling TV and Dish last night. The update affects 10 states and Washington DC. Customers will no longer have access to NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Bay Area, and NBC Sports California.

“The current RSN model is fundamentally broken,” said Brian
Neylon, Group President, DISH TV. “This model requires nearly all customers to
pay for RSNs when only a small percentage of customers actually watch them. As
the cost of these channels continues to escalate, we no longer think it makes
sense to include them in our TV lineup.”

Dish blamed the networks, saying that the networks were
asking for higher rates that would have to be passed on to customers. The
company said the “inequitable model has
become antiquated” and called on networks to work
with service providers on a better solution.

 “Our proposal to
offer sports fans access to RSNs is simple, and provides choice and value to
all of our customers,” added Neylon. “It would allow DISH TV and SLING TV
customers to choose to subscribe to the RSN channels they want — such as the
regional MASN and NBC sports networks — on an a la carte basis, similar to
premium subscription channels. With this updated RSN model, no customer would
be forced to pay for content they don’t watch, and the RSNs would determine the
price customers would pay for their channels.”

MASN and NBC have not been open to Dish’s proposed plan, according to Dish.

After posting this morning, a spokesperson for the NBC Regional Sports Networks reached out with the following statement: “The NBC Regional Sports Networks offered to continue distribution on fair market terms. DISH and Sling declined those terms and have dropped the networks. The many other distributors that continue to carry the RSNs are listed on each RSN’s website.”

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