Dish Network is dropping the NBC Regional Sports Networks.
Dish’s contract to carry the NBC RSNs expires April 1 and the company has notified subscribers that those RSNs will no longer be available on Sling as of that date, reports NextTV.
Dish’s notification stated that it is “committed to providing the best value with the flexibility our customers deserve and, unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement on those terms.”
In a response statement, NBCUniversal said that the NBC Regional Sports Networks “offered to continue distribution on fair market terms. Dish and Sling declined those terms and will be dropping the networks."
The news comes just days after Dish Network announced a deal that will make the DraftKings sports betting platform available on Dish’s set-top-box Hopper.
In that announcement, Paul Liberman, DraftKings’ co-founder and president of product and technology, described the Dish TV setup as “a unique opportunity for fans to watch games and engage with our real-money products while the technology also allows for further innovation ahead."
But Dish has made it clear in the past that it is willing to lose some of its sports-fan customers in the service of the bottom line.
Last year, after Dish Network dropped the Fox RSNs, founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen told analysts that RSNs’ high costs were not justified by customer viewership or retention levels, and once sports fans cancel Dish and find an alternative, it does not make sense to spend more money to try to win them back.