NFL Network returns to DISH

DISH and the NFL have found some common ground, and this means that DISH subscribers will get some football loving after all. Several sources are reporting that the two companies have resolved a dispute that came to a head in June when they couldn’t agree on a programming contract.

This was, according to some, the first time that NFL programming had been dropped from a major carrier.

The good news though, is that in an agreement that is (naturally) confidential, the two companies can once again work together and DISH customers can enjoy the Red Zone Channel and NFL network once football season resumes.

Unfortunately, this new agreement doesn’t give DISH subscribers to NFL Sunday Ticket – this remains a DIRECTV exclusive for several more years. It does take one more thing off the plate and give DISH the opportunity to work harder in its dispute with Tribune, operators of high-profile stations like Los Angeles’ KTLA and Chicago’s WGN as well as 40 other locals.

In the past year DISH has emerged as the leader among pay-TV companies in challenging oppressive programming contracts. This has led to conflicts, but DISH spokespeople say (and I agree) that they are fighting to keep rates low for consumers. The folks at DISH seem unfazed by the size or scale of the contracts they fight, and that’s led to some pretty high-profile blackouts. We’ve seen these in previous summers and although they tend to drag on, they almost always “magically” get solved before fall programming debuts.

It seems very unfair to deprive customers of programming because content providers want to pad their pockets. Of course there’s a reasonable right to have contracts and all of that, but the point is that these networks come to the table time and time again with unreasonable contract requests and it’s the subscribers that suffer. The FCC doesn’t seem to want to get involved so we get these blackouts over and over again. I don’t know what the real solution is, so long as these networks can’t seem to look at the value of their companies realistically.

Oh well, the point is that we move on to the next conflict, and for DISH subscribers, the Red Zone Channel beckons!