Dish drops Fox networks in dispute, meaning customers may miss NFL and college football games

DISH Network logo, graphic element on white
Dish Network has dropped Fox networks from its lineup as part of a dispute with the company.

Football fans with Dish Network are in danger of missing out on a lot of Week 5 of the college football season and Week 4 of the NFL season.

Dish dropped Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and the Big Ten Network from its lineup on Thursday afternoon as part of a carriage dispute with Fox. If the dispute isn’t resolved Thursday afternoon, Some Dish customers will need to get an antenna to watch Thursday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. That game is on Fox and here’s a list of the local Fox affiliates who are affected by the bickering.

The dispute was first reported by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal.

Dish owns Sling, so the dispute affects Sling customers as well. It’s never fun when consumers are the ones who get penalized in these situations.

“Dish/Sling is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers,” Fox said in a statement that was provided to Ourand. “Dish/Sling elected to drop Fox networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH/Sling’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the Fox services are widely available through every other major television provider.”

Dish, of course, disputed Fox’s statement.

“Fox’s actions are profoundly anti-consumer,” Dish said in a statement to Ourand. “Fox is raising prices and turning its back on its public obligation to provide channels to consumers for free. It’s clear that Fox cares more about padding its bottom line than serving its viewers. To add insult to injury, Fox pulled its channels right as viewers head into the heart of the NFL and college football season. We ask Fox to stop punishing its own viewers so we can focus on reaching a fair deal.

Dish dropped the Fox Sports regional channels over the summer in a midst of a dispute with Disney, which owned the networks at the time. Fox had spun off its regional channels to Disney at the beginning of the year and Disney has since moved to sell them to Sinclair. That dispute still lingers.

If the dispute carries into the weekend, Big Ten and Pac-12 games airing on Fox networks or the Big Ten Network (like No. 21 USC vs. No. 17 Washington) won’t be available to Dish customers on Saturday. On Sunday, Fox has singleheader regional NFL action headlined by the Kansas City Chiefs at the Detroit Lions.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports

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