DISH Network Reaches Multi-Year Carriage Agreement With Fox In Time For NFL Sunday Football

Dish Network

Just in time for Sunday football, DISH Network today announced it has reached a multi-year carriage agreement with Fox Corporation for its owned-and-operated local stations, as well as FS1, FS2, BTN, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fox-owned TV stations in 17 markets, as well as FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes went dark a week and a half ago on Dish Network, the latest carriage dispute to throw a wrench into the pay-TV ecosystem.

The dispute affected Dish’s 12 million satellite households, as well as millions more who subscribe to the internet-delivered bundle Sling TV, in 23 markets that included Washington, D.C. It came as the portfolio of formerly Fox-owned regional sports networks went on Dish for two months due to a dispute over carriage, though those contracts are separate from the station and networks deal.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, along with other investors, took control of the RSNs in a $9.6 billion deal that closed over the summer.

In a statement, Dish said: “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we worked to reach a long-term agreement that restores the Fox networks and local broadcast stations.”

A Fox Corporation spokesperson also issued a statement: “We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with DISH and Sling, and they are immediately restoring their subscribers’ access to the FOX networks and television stations.  We are grateful to our viewers for their patience during this disruption.”

For Fox, the Dish blackout came at an inopportune moment, as it kicked-off its first traditional broadcast season in its newly slimmed-down form as Fox Corp. following the $71.3 billion deal with Disney. The broadcast network started the season with strong numbers for The Masked Singer and healthy ratings for NFL broadcasts.

Dish has been locked in several carriage disputes in recent months. The company has been working to pivot from being a pure satellite operator to also being a wireless purveyor, hoarding spectrum and swinging a deal to inherit divested assets in the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

Dade Hayes contributed to this report.

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