Comcast SportsNet New England is now dark on Dish Network.
The disconnect, stemming from a license fee dispute, evidently occurred around 2 a.m. on Aug. 6. The carriage contract between the RSN and the No. 2 DBS provider expired on June 30, but there were a series of subsequent extensions.
NBC Sports Group said it had offered to extend the current terms of their deal while negotiations continued, but Dish dropped the RSN early this morning.
CSN, which has a reach of some 4 million homes throughout New England with major carriage from parent Comcast and DirecTV, is the RSN home to the NBA's Boston Celtics, and airs an array of New England Patriots fare, as well as news and other content.
Dish has long had a mixed history with RSNs -- the DBS provider doesn't carry any of the four networks in the New York DMA -- over carriage pricing.
NBC Sports Group issued the following statement: "We are disappointed that Dish has decided to drop CSN New England. CSN New England offered Dish terms reflective of the economics accepted by the network’s other distributors and to extend the current terms as negotiations continued. Dish declined these offers and decided to involve their customers, who now no longer have access to CSN New England’s exclusive Patriots programming, Celtics games, and the region's most robust local sports coverage on TV. We encourage all Dish customers in New England to contact DISH directly and voice their concerns by calling 1-800-823-4929."
Dish vice president of programming Josh Clark provided the following response on Wednesday: “Comcast SportsNet New England wants to put a double-digit rate increase on the backs of consumers for a channel that has seen viewership drop over 40 percent since 2011. Dish is committed to providing high-quality sports programming at an appropriate value. We urge Comcast SportsNet New England to work with Dish to strike that balance.”
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