NFL Network was stripped of 4 million subscribers after Dish Network downgraded the National Football League-owned cable channel.
The satellite-TV service moved NFL Network from its America's Top 100 package to the America's Top 200 package, leaving its reach at around 31 million. An NFL spokesperson called it an “unfortunate decision.”
The league earlier battled some cable operators including Comcast, which refused to put the channel on its basic tier. Just before an important New England Patriots-New York Giants game due to air on the NFL Network, it relented (when cable would not) and made the game available on both CBS and NBC. Later, the Giants and Patriots met again in the Super Bowl, where the Giants prevailed.
The purchase price is $50 million, comprised of $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock.