Football fans with Dish Network, rejoice! NFL Media and the satellite provider have finally reached a carriage agreement, settling on a price per subscriber both parties can agree on. The distribution deal was announced Wednesday, with both the NFL Network and RedZone channels restored for Dish subscribers immediately.
Dish dropped NFL Media in the middle of June, citing an expired contract, though representatives also stated that the company was more than receptive to negotiations. The brief removal of both NFL channels marked the first such incident in NFL Network history.
Pending an agreement, the NFL launched iwantnflnetwork.com to lure Dish Network customers to other providers that carried both RedZone and the NFL Network. The site now redirects to the NFL Network homepage.
Fan input may have pressured both entities to hasten negotiations and reach an agreement before preseason football begins.
“This has been a thoughtful negotiation that resulted in a great outcome for our fans,” NFL Senior VP of Media Strategy and Development Hans Schroeder explained in a press release. “Dish is an important distributor of NFL Network and NFL RedZone, and we are excited to expand our distribution to new fans on the fast-growing Sling TV platform.”
The addition of both channels to Sling TV, Dish's streaming platform, marks the first time subscribers will be able to watch the NFL Network and RedZone on the service. Both networks are set to become available to Sling TV subscribers before the start of the regular season.
This is only the latest in the NFL's ongoing quest to reach customers through more mobile-friendly means. The league has its own Snapchat channel and is set to livestream 10 regular season games this year on Twitter.