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NFL Network, NFL RedZone return to Sling TV and Dish after carriage dispute

NFL Network and NFL RedZone have been restored to US satellite television service Dish Network and its over-the-top offering Sling TV after NFL Media and Dish Network reached a new carriage agreement.

The deal was struck just ahead of the start of play on the first Sunday of the 2020-21 National Football League season on September 13, and following a standoff in which the league’s media assets in June went dark on Dish Network and Sling.

“We join millions of NFL fans who are thrilled to see NFL Network and NFL RedZone back on Dish and Sling TV in time for the 2020 NFL season,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL Media executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our goal is to provide NFL fans everywhere the opportunity to view award-winning coverage of America’s favorite sport and Dish and Sling TV are important partners in that mission.”

Dish and Sling combine for more than 11.3m subscribers.

The Dish Network deal was agreed just a few days after the NFL struck a new carriage agreement with the Google-owned YouTube that will see the NFL Network and NFL RedZone distributed on the YouTube TV over-the-top streaming service.

“We’re excited to have reached an agreement that benefits all parties, most importantly our customers and NFL fans,” said Andy LeCuyer, Dish’s senior vice president of programming. “Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through the negotiations.”

That tone represents a marked difference from the depth of the battle, when Dish had previously said, “The NFL is asking for a rate increase that is simply unacceptable during this uncertain time in professional sports.”

These deals provide further key distribution points for prominent league assets, which help buttress against consumer cord-cutting from traditional cable and satellite TV packages.