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.”