Dish Spikes NFL Network and RedZone

Contract expires and channels go dark
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The clock ran out on Dish Network’s carriage agreement with the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channel at 7 p.m. ET Thursday..

With football season over, the blackout is not likely to cause flags to be thrown until at least training camps open. The NFL Network carries a schedule of 18 regular Thursday night games, including eight exclusive contests.

The NFL said this is the first time that the network has gone dark on one of its affiliates.

“Our contract with NFL Network has expired. We remain open to a fair offer that allows us to carry this content at an appropriate value to our customers,” Dish said in a statement.

Dish, known for being contentious during carriage negotiations, also is in a dispute with Tribune Media. Tribune’s 42 stations and its WGN America cable network are blacked out to Dish subscribers.

“As the only network 100% dedicated to coverage of America’s most popular sports league, NFL Network is committed to serving the millions of NFL fans by reaching fair distribution agreements with the pay-TV industry,” The NFL said in a statement.

NFL Network is in more than 60 million households. Dish’s satellite rival, DirecTV has the NFL’s out of market game package, Sunday Ticket, on an exclusive basis.

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