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DISH, Sinclair Reach Temporary Agreement

“The two sides had been lobbing blame at one another in the lead up to this extension.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Sinclair Broadcast Group

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Dish Network temporarily resolved their dispute this week. 

According to USA TODAY, the satellite company’s 3 million subscribers were about to lose their local Sinclair station, but the two sides temporarily agreed to extend their deal. Around 100 TV stations were at risk of being pulled by Dish if an agreement wasn’t finalized by Monday.

“We have agreed to a short-term extension with DISH to continue conversations,” senior vice president and general counsel for Sinclair Broadcast Group David Gibber said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We will continue to update our viewers as this develops. Sinclair stands willing to continue to negotiate in good faith and to enter into a longer extension to allow for the continued carriage of our channels to DISH’s subscribers.”

RSNs such as the Bally Sports networks haven’t been carried by the satellite provider since 2019. The two sides had been lobbing blame at one another in the lead up to this extension.

Last week, Dish accused Sinclair of “trying to use its market power to demand an unreasonable fee increase, using millions of Americans as pawns in its negotiations,” in a news release.

Sinclair came right back with their release, stating Dish “has a demonstrated track record of dropping local and national programming that viewers value.”

The timing in these disputes is crucial as the lead-up to football season begins — which broadcast companies hope leverage negotiations in their favor. Football is king in the United States, especially the NFL. 22 of the 25 highest-rated TV events of the past year were NFL games.

Access to local TV is still imperative for fans that want to watch their hometown without navigating blackouts. The powers that be know this all too well. We’ll see how this particular negotiation develops as the NFL kicks off their 2022 season in early September.

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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