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Dish Subscribers Lose MASN, NBC RSNs on Opening Day

Dish Network subscribers are losing more regional sports networks (Image credit: Dish)

Dish Network said its satellite and Sling TV subscribers can no longer receive MASN and the NBC Regional Sports Networks because they were unable to renew their distribution agreements.

The announcement came on opening day of the Major League Baseball season.

Also Read: Changes at Sinclair's RSNs Just Start with Name Change

The dispute affects views in 10 states and the District of Columbia. 

MASN--Mid-Atlantic Sports Network--is owned by the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California are the NBC RSNs impacted.

Also Read: Dish Dropping NBC RSNs as it Bets on Sports Wagering

Dish previously dropped NBC RSNs in Philadelphia, Boston and the Pacific Northwest in 2019 

Dish Network has been deciding not to renew regional sports networks, including those owned by Sinclair, which were rebranded as Bally’s Sports.

“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.”

Dish said it is proposing an a la carte approach to the RSN, letting subscriber choose whether or not they want to pay to watch local sports.

“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,” Neylon said.

A spokesperson for the NBC Regional Sports Network noted that distributors that continue to carry the RSNs are listed on their websites.

"The NBC Regional Sports Networks offered to continue distribution on fair market terms. DISH and Sling declined those terms and have dropped the networks," the spokesperson said.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.