Earlier today it was announced that Sling TV and Dish may soon drop Fox Regional Sports Networks as talks continue on a new contract. Now we have learned that FX and National Geographic may also soon be dropped as Disney and Dish negotiate for a new contract now that Disney owns the FX Network.
Update: A spokesperson for FX and National Geographic sent Cord Cutters News the following statement: “Our contract with DISH for the FX and National Geographic networks is due to expire soon, so we have a responsibility to make our viewers aware of the potential loss of our programming. However, we remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so.”
Back in March Disney closed on its deal to buy most of Fox. Disney now owns 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox’s 22 regional sports channels (that will soon be sold off), cable channels including FX and National Geographic, and Fox’s portfolio of international operations, including a fast-growing pay-TV service in India. The deal will also give Disney 60% ownership of Hulu.
Now Dish needs to negotiate with Disney to renew its contract with both FX and National Geographic may both soon be dropped on top of the Fox Regional Sports Networks.
The contract talks over the Fox RSNs will likely be more difficult as Fox Regional Sports Networks ownership is changing from Disney to Sinclair right now. This is likely turning these talks into a complicated three way conversation.
Back in May Sinclair purchased most of the Fox Regional Sports Networks from Disney for $10.6 billion. It had been reported that Disney wanted $20 billion for the networks but Sinclair won with a bid of $10.6 billion showing how cord cutting has reduced the value of networks like the Fox RSNs.
As part of the deal to get Department of Justice approval for the Disney-Fox merger, there was a requirement that the Fox regional sports networks would be sold off. When Disney closes on the sale of most of 21st Century Fox, they need to sell off the regional sports networks currently running under the Fox Sports name. There was a fear that Disney owning ESPN, ABC, and the Fox regional sports networks would give them too much power in the world of sports.
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