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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DISH is Raising the Price of TV & Adding a Regional Sports Fee - Cord Cutters News
Dish 2020 Price Increase Page

New to this round of adjustments is a "Regional Sports Surcharge" that varies from $0 to $3 based on zip code. Unlike with the locals this is not optional. Their website doesn't say if this is applicable to Dish America or Dish America Silver however based on channel lineups I found for those packages online it says they include regional sports. So best bet is any base package that includes Regional Sports will be subject to this new surcharge.

Zip codes that don't have Regional Sports seem to be exempt from this surcharge. Like my zip code is affected by the Fox Sports Net RSN dispute so Dish isn't carrying Fox Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio, Fox Sports Cincinnati. The Surcharge checker on their price increase page said my zip code had no surcharge.

Below you will find the first edition of my Dish Price Increase table similar to the one I've made for DirecTV the past few years. Since I don't have Dish if you notice any errors please let me know.

One thing I will say there was a "Dish America Gold" package included in the 2019 Rates but they didn't include it on the list of packages getting a rate increase for 2020. So I'm not sure if they forgot about it or it was an error. I left it out of my table for now.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I currently get a $0 RSN fee ... but I currently get no RSNs (except BIG10, PAC12, SEC). I assume that if the RSNs return we will see large RSN fees.
That's what I'm thinking like if they reach a deal with Sinclair for the Fox Sports RSNs then my zip would be subject to the RSN Fee but right now its $0.
 

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My current service address is a bit unique as it's served by two DMA's, Albany, NY and Burlington, VT. If I check an Albany ZIP, there's no RSN fee, but the VT ZIP has a $1 fee, apparently because we get NESN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Do we have any idea when we will know if we have the RSNs?
Dish Network Status
  • Fox Sports RSNs - No new updates here about the progress between Dish and Sinclair on the state of the Fox RSNs. Based on how Sinclair loves to bundle channels I'm guessing a sticking point is Sinclair wants Dish to begin carrying YES Network and sign on to launch Marquee Sports Network and I bet Dish is pushing back on this plus the cost of the Fox RSNs in general. At this point I wouldn't expect the Sinclair owned RSNs to return until Dish's agreement for Sinclair's O&O local stations and Tennis Channel come up for renewal so Sinclair can bundle all these RSNs into their existing agreement for their O&O locals and Tennis Channel.
  • NBC Sports Chicago - Again no new updates here Comcast's MySportsChicago.com website is still pushing for Dish/Sling customers to switch providers to get the channel.
  • Altitude Sports - Once again no new updates here both Comcast and Dish are still not carrying this channel and Altitude is pushing subs to switch to DirecTV at this point.

DirecTV/AT&T Status
  • Fox Sports RSNs - Sinclair tied the carriage of the Fox Sports RSNs, YES Network and Marquee Sports Network into their retransmission renegotiation for their O&O local stations and Tennis Channel just like they did with Charter Spectrum. After a tense negotiation period AT&T and Sinclair reached a long term carriage agreement for all Sinclair O&O stations, Tennis Channel, all their RSNs and will add Marquee Sports Network when it launches. Go Cubs!
  • Altitude Sports - AT&T and Kroenke reached a long term agreement to resume carriage on DirecTV. Huzzah!
  • NBC Sports Chicago - While AT&T's rights for this RSN ended the same time Dish's rights ended they are still stuck in negotiation limbo with an extension of unknown duration. Comcast's MySportsChicago.com website doesn't list any AT&T video service as an alternitive for Dish/Sling subscribers to switch to while AT&T's TV Promise website still has a notice for Chicago zip codes that their rights have expired and the channel could be pulled. However the channel is still live on AT&T platforms as of December 15, 2019.

So that's all that is known about the state of RSNs for Dish & DirecTV right now.

If you want to watch a video here is a town hall video about the Altitude Sports & Entertainment situation featuring Jim Martin. This was from December 5, 2019.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just watched this town hall video from Altitude with Jim Martin and here is the key takeaway points:
  • The original 15 year deals with Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network to carry Altitude at launch were reasonable, below market value in order to get wide, universal carriage to their fans.
  • Comcast and Dish Network are making demands to Altitude that are unprecedented in the entire industry. They said Comcast doesn't make these demands it asked Altitude to make applicable to their own RSNs or other RSNs across the country.
    • Personal side-note: While they didn't say what those demands are I'm going out on a limb here and guessing placing Altitude on a Sports Tier which is something Comcast will not allow any other distributor to do to their own NBC RSN channels.
  • Comcast & Dish are saying Altitude is not highly viewed on their systems in the Denver market (roughly around 3%), Altitude disputes this.
  • Apparently Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network had the same deal with Altitude when it launched. During this dispute all three wanted the same deal again.
  • Altitude says the deal they reached with DirecTV is a "reasonable deal" and it is "below market value" for "comparable programming" and "comparable ratings." They wanted to clarify this wasn't a "sweetheart deal" to DirecTV but one that made "business sense" to both Altitude and DirecTV.
    • They say "rates are reasonable" and that carriage terms are the same as the past agreement (meaning Altitude stays put on Choice and above on DirecTV.)
    • Altitude says they have extended the same deal to Comcast and Dish Network that DirecTV accepted but they don't want to negotiate/engage with Altitude.
  • Altitude claims that streaming the games direct to consumer is not financially viable because "there isn't an economic model viable" and "does not work in today's market."
Dish Network apparently updated DishPromise.com for Altitude on 12/5/19 (most likely in response to this) and this is their response:
We love sports, sports fans, and Altitude.

DISH was the first distributor in 2004 to pick up Altitude, and we have been happy to do so ever since. We want to reach a fair agreement that works for all of our customers. Unfortunately, we have not heard from them on a deal since October 21.

As a Regional Sports Network (RSN), Altitude is relying on an outdated and broken business plan. Their plan depends on the majority of customers (more than 90%) paying for the slim minority (less than 10%) who actually watch games.

If you are a sports fan, this is a great deal.
For most consumers, it's not.

Among all of the programmers DISH carries, Altitude is the most expensive per hour watched. In fact, it's one of the most expensive RSNs nationally - more than double the cost of any other independent RSN DISH carries.

The last deal we did with Altitude was five years ago. A lot has changed since then. Viewers have more choices than ever. They deserve a great value.

Unfortunately, Altitude has only wanted to do the same old deal again. Together, we can do better.

Here are 5 creative options that Altitude should consider:

A la carte:
Want Altitude? The fans who want it can pay, others don't.

Streaming:
Altitude says they can't easily stream. We can help. We own Sling TV. We'd be happy to host Altitude on Sling.

Pay by viewing hour:
We've offered to pay Altitude a fair rate for every hour of content watched. The more our customers watch, the more Altitude gets paid.

Tiers:
This comes down to packaging. Allow us offer Altitude in a more expensive package. This helps balance the cost and is fairer to customers.

Simply reduce the rate:
At a fair cost, regional sports can be spread across fans and non-fans. Even for a non-fan, there is value to access.

DISH strives to provide our customers with the best TV experience at the best possible value. We urge Altitude to work with us to reach a logical, long-term agreement on behalf of our mutual viewers. We are hopeful and open to a fair agreement to bring Altitude back as quickly as possible.
So it seems Dish is wanting to either put Altitude on a higher tier, place it on an add-on pack, make it a la carte and/or want them to reduce their rate. According to Dish they are the most expensive, independent RSN they carry meanwhile Altitude claims they are offering deals (like the recent one with DirecTV) that are reasonable and below market value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On 11/25/19 they updated both the Fox Sports RSNs and NBC Sports Chicago RSN blurbs however there was no new information on the Fox Sports RSNs except "we don't have any new news to report.... we appreciate your business."

However on NBC Sports Chicago they added this interesting tidbit of information about this dispute:
"NBC Sports Chicago is also demanding a minimum number of subscribers, reducing their own viewers' choice. The Regional Sports Networks business model is broken, and now NBC Sports Chicago is looking to recoup the hefty sums they pay the teams they carry after their loss of their most popular content, the Cubs."

The "minimum number of subscribers" is the key bit here. Dish does not like this and when AT&T required Dish to ensure they meet a "minimum number of subscribers" for HBO and Cinemax they were also dropped and haven't returned since. So this isn't looking promising that they will be added back anytime soon.
 

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So let me make sure I understand. If we do NOT have the RSNs we will not have the surcharge? I really want them back, but there is a limit to what I am willing to pay. During the big dish days I subbed to NFL Sunday Ticket. Then DIRECT got it as an exclusive. The price they charged was far too much in my opinion, so I never pursued it. I wish DISH would give subscribers some info on what the RSNs might cost and then let subscribers provide a response on whether or not they are willing to pay that cost.
 

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Yes, that does appear to be the case. If your DMA currently has no RSN's, there's no surcharge. I'm in a dual DMA location, Albany, NY and Burlington, VT. When I check an Albany DMA only ZIP, there's no surcharge and no RSN's. A Burlington only ZIP incurs a $1 surcharge and receives NESN.
 

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DISH is Raising the Price of TV & Adding a Regional Sports Fee - Cord Cutters News
Dish 2020 Price Increase Page

New to this round of adjustments is a "Regional Sports Surcharge" that varies from $0 to $3 based on zip code. Unlike with the locals this is not optional. Their website doesn't say if this is applicable to Dish America or Dish America Silver however based on channel lineups I found for those packages online it says they include regional sports. So best bet is any base package that includes Regional Sports will be subject to this new surcharge.

Zip codes that don't have Regional Sports seem to be exempt from this surcharge. Like my zip code is affected by the Fox Sports Net RSN dispute so Dish isn't carrying Fox Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio, Fox Sports Cincinnati. The Surcharge checker on their price increase page said my zip code had no surcharge.

Below you will find the first edition of my Dish Price Increase table similar to the one I've made for DirecTV the past few years. Since I don't have Dish if you notice any errors please let me know.

One thing I will say there was a "Dish America Gold" package included in the 2019 Rates but they didn't include it on the list of packages getting a rate increase for 2020. So I'm not sure if they forgot about it or it was an error. I left it out of my table for now.

View attachment 30268
The only thing I would change on the list is TheBlaze is being dropped on Dec. 20. It has already been removed as an add-on when you login for account management on Dish's site.
 

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Thanks for the clarification - The Blaze will no longer be on any linear TV service.
As one who subscribes to Flex with the News Pack add on, I never watch Blaze. They can add RT and C-Span 2 as they should have been included in the News Pack in the first place.
Oh, and add CNN International while at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only thing I would change on the list is TheBlaze is being dropped on Dec. 20. It has already been removed as an add-on when you login for account management on Dish's site.
And just so everyone is clear - the channel ITSELF is ending on linear TV by end of this year:
Glenn Beck's The Blaze to End on Linear TV (Exclusive)
Thanks for the clarification - The Blaze will no longer be on any linear TV service.
Fixed :) Thanks for the heads up!
 
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