A few weeks ago NBC Sports Chicago posted a warning that it could go dark on October 1, 2019, on Dish and AT&T. Now October 1st is here, and NBC Sports Chicago seems to have reached a deal with AT&T but not Dish. As of this morning, NBC Sports Chicago is dark on both Sling TV and Dish.
Note: This blackout only applies to NBC Sports Chicago. All other NBC Sports networks are still live on Dish and Sling TV.
This news comes as Dish has also been fighting with Fox Regional Sports Networks that have now been dark on Sling TV and Dish for over 60 days. Dish says the regional sports networks want too much money for the limited number of people who watch them.
“The regional sports model has been broken for years, and we’re facing a critical point in our industry,” said Andy LeCuyer, DISH senior vice president of Programming. “NBC Sports Chicago is losing its most popular content in the Cubs, while demanding payment on a guaranteed minimum number of subscribers, when only a fraction watch the channel. It simply makes no sense for our customers.”
A Dish spokesperson sent Cord Cutters News the following statement before the blackout happened:“Our goal is to keep NBC Sports Chicago available to our customers at a reasonable cost. We are unsure why NBC Sports Chicago has decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process, at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”
Update: NBC Sports Chicago sent Cord Cutters News this statement: “NBC Sports Chicago thanks the many distribution partners who recognize the great value of our channel and have decided to continue serving fans with the most local games and best coverage of Chicago sports. We are disappointed DISH has dropped NBC Sports Chicago, denying its subscribers more exclusive local Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox games than the network has ever had before. NBC Sports Chicago values DISH and is working in good faith to come to a fair market value agreement, but DISH is unwilling to meaningfully engage. DISH subscribers have other options and can learn how to switch providers on www.mysportschicago.com.”
The good news for cord cutters is that fuboTV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV will all still have NBC Sports Chicago if you need to switch. Dish and DIRECTV customers stuck in a contract will have fewer options to quickly find a service that offers these channels.
Cord Cutters News has reached out to Dish for comment and will update this story as we learn more. This is breaking news, We will update this story shortly.
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