Dish, Sling TV Drop MASN, NBC RSNs

(Image credit: Dish Network)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.—Dish isn’t ready to play ball in certain parts of the country, as it announced that MASN and NBC Regional Sports Networks were dropped from Dish TV and Sling TV on March 31, just before Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season.

Dish TV customers now do not have access to the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), and Dish TV and Sling TV customers have lost NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California. Overall, this impacts customers across 10 states and Washington, D.C.

The NBC RSNs impacted by this decision cover the Golden State Warriors, Washingotn Wizards and Sacramento Kings in the NBA; the NHL's Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks; and MLB's San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.  MASN provides coverage of Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals Games.

According to Dish, MASN and the NBC RSNs are demanding rates that would be passed on to practically all customers, whether they watch these RSNs or not.

“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.”

Neylon says that Dish has proposed a plan that would allow customers to choose to subscribe to the RSN channels they want on an a la carte basis. Dish said that MASN and NBC did not accept the proposal.

An NBC Regional Sports Network spokesperson provided TV Tech the following statement:

"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 many other distributors that continue to carry the RSNs are listed on each RSN website."