For Dish Network Subscribers, College Football Saturday Is Screwed

If you woke up on Saturday morning thinking it would be an easy day to find your favorite football game on Dish Network, you were most likely throwing your remote control. The move also effects Sling TV customers.

Due to Disney and Dish Network not being able to reach a mutual renewal agreement, college football fans will not have access to ESPN, ESPN2, SEC Network and other channels. This is the absolute worst time for something like this to happen, considering the amount of pivotal games on television today.

What Is Dish Network Saying?

Dish Network released mutliple explanations as to why this was happening, including a contract extension offer to ESPN.

“We offered Disney a contract extension to keep working towards an agreement and avoid any interruption to your service, but they refused this offer and walked away from the table.”

I would be absolutely livid if I turned on the television around kickoff, with my cup of coffee, only to realize that the main channels for college football were blacked out.

The SEC Responds

The SEC put out a tweet Saturday morning for subscribers of Dish and Sling.

Not only will folks have to scramble to find a number of illegal streams just to watch their favorite team play, but it sounds like Disney tried to hike the price for customers of both outlets.

“Disney, like many other channel owners, knowingly use this contract renewal time to try and increase the amount of money cable and satellite TV companies pay for their programming.”

Here is the full release from Dish Network.

ESPN Responds

“After months of negotiating in good faith, DISH has declined to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our networks. As a result, their DISH and Sling TV subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming from the ABC Owned Television Stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks, the National Geographic channels and BabyTV. 

“The rates and terms we are seeking reflect the marketplace and have been the foundation for numerous successful deals with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country,” Disney continued. “We’re committed to reaching a fair resolution, and we urge DISH to work with us in order to minimize the disruption to their customers.”

Hopefully both companies can get this issue resolved, because we already pay enough for these channels to begin with. Shame on both companies for waiting until the last minute to workout this deal.

College Football fans did not get enough time to find alternate ways of watching, so this is a bad look for everyone involved.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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