Big Ten Network and Dish at odds over new deal
Apparently Dish Network isn’t ready for some football.
The satellite broadcaster is at odds with the Big Ten Network (BTN), the sports channel that focuses on the collegiate conference that is home to powerhouses such as the Michigan Wolverines, Iowa Hawkeyes, Ohio State Buckeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Dish’s current contract with BTN expires on Friday, one day before the college football season starts. It does not look like the two sides are close to a deal. BTN is a joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and News Corp.’s Fox.
On a website critical of Dish, the BTN said it has offered contracts “consistent with the current market value” for the channel. According to industry consulting firm SNL Kagan, BTN costs just under 40 cents per month, per subscriber. That price tag is similar to the asking rate for MTV and Discovery Channel.
The Dish fight with BTN comes at the same time it is in a legal battle with Fox (and CBS and NBC) over its commercial-skipping digital video recorder known as the Hopper.
However, fights between programmers and distributors are commonplace. Dish is currently not carrying channels owned by AMC Networks including AMC and WE. Earlier this summer, DirecTV briefly stopped carrying channels owned by Viacom because of a contract dispute.
A Dish spokesman did not respond to an email request for comment.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.
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