According to the league, the NFL Network and NFL RedZone will no longer be available on either DISH or Sling. League communications stated that other providers agreed to proposed fees and terms for carrying the channels while DISH did not, leading to its decision to terminate carriage on services controlled by the second-largest satellite TV provider in the United States (though the web page for these products at DISH’s site is still live) late Thursday night.
The deal from 2016 that initially brought the two NFL channels to Sling TV made the streaming service one of the cheapest ways for fans to gain access: NFL Network began as an included channel in the 2016 version of the $25 Sling Blue package (the service offers two packages of channels designated “Blue” and “Orange”) while NFL RedZone could be added for an additional $5 to those who bought Sling Blue.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing reminded everyone that this comes on the heels of a “a long-running, somewhat bitter sounding carriage dispute with AT&T over the past year, which resulted in both NFL Network and RedZone being dropped from U-Verse and what was then known as DirecTV Now.” At the same time, DISH and Sling TV had recent distribution agreement disputes with several other content providers (including the Fox Sports regional sports networks) and bled subscribers in 2019, suggesting this is not just a one-off problem with the NFL. In the parlance of the AITA Reddit, we are probably looking at an unfortunate ESH (Everyone Sucks Here) situation for professional football fans who just want a reasonably priced streaming service carrying the NFL coverage they want to watch.
And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- While the league has its experts looking at possible ways to hold the 2020 season, so does the NFLPA:
A statement from NFLPA Medical Director Dr. Thom Mayer: pic.twitter.com/GCPx5JQe6i— NFLPA (@NFLPA) June 18, 2020
- The team posted a video of head coach Matt Patricia visiting the practice facility in Allen Park in preparation for reopening.
- Panini, which typically produces some of the earliest rookie cards for newly drafted NFL players, has been revealing its cards for this year’s NFLPA Rookie Premiere class. Here is the tweet from earlier in the week with Lions running back D’Andre Swift:
There might not be an NFLPA Rookie Premiere this year . . . but there is a 2020 @NFLPA Rookie Premiere Class. And we're proud to continue unveiling it today -- resuming with the RBs. Here are the first four . . .#RatedRookie | #NFLPARookiePremiere pic.twitter.com/Eq2vdU2UC5— Panini America (@PaniniAmerica) June 15, 2020
- Pro Football Focus’ fantasy rankings place Kenny Golladay fifth among all wide receivers, projecting 1,405 receiving yards in 2020.
- Root, root, root for the home team:
- The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame announced the list of candidates on the ballot for induction in 2021 (hat tip to Jeff Risdon at Lions Wire for spotting the former Lions on the ballot).