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Updated Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 3:05 PM CT



October 5, 2019

Fox, Dish dispute drags on. Thursday Night Football blacked out

     The dispute between FOX and Dish Network resulted in Thursday night’s Rams-Seahawks game being blacked out not only by FOX but also by NFL Network on Dish. In turn, the NFL Network ultimately blacked out the game not only on Dish but everywhere else.

Dish released the following statement:

 “We are actively working with our customers to make them aware of alternative viewing options, including using an over-the-air antenna, streaming for free on Locast in select markets, using an Amazon Prime subscription or watching for free on Twitch. Customers can also watch on the NFL or Yahoo Sports apps for free on mobile phones and tablets.

 “We continue to urge Fox to come to a fair agreement on behalf of our customers and its viewers.”

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that NFL Network’s agreement with Dish Network prevents NFLN from showing different programming to Dish than it shows to other distributors. So with FOX exercising its right to direct NFLN to omit Rams-Seahawks from Dish, NFLN had to omit Rams-Seahawks from outlets like Comcast and DirecTV.

The Fox Thursday night games are usually also simulcast on NFL Network, which Dish and Sling both carry, and last week’s game (Eagles-Packers, which took place only hours after those channels were dropped) was viewable there. But now, no one (even those who don’t have Dish or Sling) will be able to watch this Thursday’s Rams-Seahawks game on NFL Network. The Rams tweeted Thursday that NFLN now won’t be showing the game:

“Unfortunately, Fox continues to black out its owned and operated stations to DISH and Sling TV subscribers. We have been told by NFL Network that they will no longer be airing tonight’s game on any pay-tv provider, removing a viewing option for millions of households across the country, particularly for those without a broadband connection.

 “Thursday Night Football” game will be blacked out to Dish Network and Sling TV subscribers on both Fox and the NFL Network.

There are some remaining workarounds (the Thursday night games are also streamed through Amazon Prime Video, and through the NFL and Yahoo apps,  and there’s also the possibility of watching with a digital antenna or with a workaround like Locast), but this may be another hurdle to watching TNF for many. And that may not be just for this week, given that the Fox-Dish dispute doesn’t seem close to solved.

The NFLN still has its exclusive games (including three on Thursdays this year), and the NFL as a whole presumably wants to work with Fox, especially given that Fox paid them $550 million for five years of Thursday night games. 



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

Some content sourced and verified from:  AASNSports; ESPN;  NFLNetwork; Dish; Fox; ProFootballTalk

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