In the ongoing saga of streaming services and content providers, Sling and its parent Dish have lost some regional sports networks (RSN).
RSNs are some of the most coveted, and yet most elusive, channels. Virtually every streaming service has had and lost RSNs at some point. Sling and Dish are the latest to lose some of those channels. Dish will lose access to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), and both companies will lose 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.”
The disagreement stems from MASN and the NBC RSNs wanting payment based on all customers, rather than those customers actually using the channels. Sling and Dish argue that this is an antiquated model that’s no longer appropriate in the age of a la carte streaming packages.
“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.”