BTN - Dish Network Contract Status

Submitted by EGD on August 26th, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Evidently the contract between Big Ten Network and Dish Network expires on August 31, and may not be renewed.  The BTN has a website devoted to this, where they are encouraging Dish Network subscribers to contact Dish and tell them they better re-up with BTN.

Fortunately, Michigan's first game on BTN isn't until UMass so I have a few weeks to get a new cable or satellite provider if this doesn't get resolved.  But I'm wondering if anyone been following this situation and has any insight into what the likely outcome here is?



August 26th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

I've never been happier. I had a fear that I would lose signal often during storms, but that is not the case. Directv has been reliable. I went through quite a few boxes with Time Warner and I always had an annoying lag when changing channels.


August 26th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

I made the switch about 5 years ago and there will be no turning back. I remember my cable going out for hours because some line 2 miles away was broken and plenty similar instances. Direct TV is reliable and i feel good knowing if something is wrong with my neighbors signal it does not automatically spell doom for mine. Plus NFL Sunday Ticket is the greatest thing to ever happen to TV.


August 26th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

Having seen many of these contract disputes go down, including the most recent between Dish and AMC, the likelihood is that it will come down to the wire, and then a deal will be made. But, considering Dish vs. AMC, it's possible (though unlikely, mostly because I doubt BTN is demanding as much as AMC for as little as AMC provides) that Dish will actually drop BTN. If BTN is as good at PR as AMC is, they will allow Dish customers to watch games online.


August 26th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

AMC may have the best programming (Breaking Bad is, without doubt, the best show on TV), but other than Walking Dead, they don't have anything that is popular with the mainstream audience. This is the first season that Breaking Bad will have ratings over 1.0 in the A18-49 demo for its whole season, and only the second season where it hit 1.0 at all. And Breaking Bad is AMC's second highest rated show!

Besides that, AMC has four or five original scripted programs, with another couple unscripted thrown in there, but other than that, the rest of the programming is cheap filler for AMC, so they are happy with getting dismal ratings, but that doesn't help Dish. You have to remember that AMC is asking Dish to pay a higher per subscriber fee for a group of networks (because it's not only AMC that's in the negotiation) based on networks that don't even get into the top 10 of cable networks, on average. Only AMC even makes it into the top 20.

Blue since birth

August 26th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

I'm still under contract with Dish I believe... Because I just upgraded to their biggest DVR (pre-Hopper) about a year ago.

Don't care. First AMC and now they're fucking with my football? I'll take the penalties or just drop to their cheapest package for the remainder of my contract. I'll be calling them shortly and if they cant assure me they'll be keeping BTN I'll be in the phone with Direct in the next day or two.


August 26th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

These things often do come down to the wire, but sometimes these guys get stubborn. My wife was incensed a few months ago because Directv was in a dispute with Fox. Directv was stubborn enough that we had no Fox channels for something like 3 or 4 days, IIRC, and this was during the final few weeks of american idol and some of their highest ratings. Thus the reason my wife was so angry, and a real testament to how serious these fights can get.

That said, the only trouble I have with Directv's signal is when I should be in the basement, hiding from a tornado. I did have some trouble when a tree got a little overgrown, but with a clear line of sight to the southern sky, you should have no problems. From what I've seen though, I would pay a couple bucks more a month just for Directv's guide over Dish and Comcast's. They totally blow in comparison.


August 26th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

DirecTV is great in a lot of ways, but, as you say, they get into contract disputes, too. Right after Dish cut off AMC, DirecTV cut off all Viacom networks (Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, MTV, etc.) That one did get resolved within a couple of weeks, while Dish vs. AMC is still ongoing, but in the current MSO vs. content provider climate, you aren't really safe anywhere.


August 26th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

The DVR is a sore spot for me. Remember when everybody had some P.O.S. VCR and could record whatever the hell they wanted? How did it happen that now I have to pay a monthly fee to do the same thing? Oh, that is unless I buy a $400 tivo and pay $500 for the lifetime service. I even tried the bit about how I'm a long time customer and the price of everything keeps going up and I should switch to Dish unless I get a free DVR. That got me nowhere. They know that I know Dish sucks.


August 26th, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

I've really never like Dish Network.  I first got it in 2005 because we bought a house in a weird valley that had a lousy cable company and no line-of-sight to the DirecTV satellite.  We've moved a couple times since, and now I live on a hillside with clear views to the south, west, and north, so I could probably get DirecTV again if I wanted.  If DirecTV is that much better, maybe I should think about switching anyway.


August 26th, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

Sounds like dish network will not offer the new PAC 12 network channels either. They're losing lots of customers out here in the Pacific Northwest. Kinda dumb. I guess they don't realize the power of college football.


August 26th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

 If Dish networks drops the BTN network i'll be moving to a different provider. I signed a contract with Dish a few years ago and BTN was one of the reasons i selected the package i got. A few months later dish moved BTN to a sports package and i lost it from my programing. Last year i signed up for the sports package just to have BTN. I really don't care about having 30 different  fox sports channels.


 I  might just switch anyways I'm tired of Dish networks bait and switch tactics


August 26th, 2012 at 4:08 PM ^

No offense to anyone who still has it, but Dish sounds like complete garbage. They seem to care very little about their customer base and routinely don't renew extremely popular channels (recently with AMC and now BTN). We had Dish when I was in high school and I remember the would always pull this same shit. Besides that, I had worked with a guy who had previously done call center sales for Dish through a 3rd party, and the stories he told were nauseating. For example, having a phone # one digit off of a directtv sales line and letting the callers think they were in fact signing up for the other provider. What a joke of a company.

Blue since birth

August 26th, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

Direct will be here on the 7th with my HD DVR, 3 receivers and Nomad... All for free. With what I save with their specials, it more than makes up for the $130 I'll have to pay to ditch my contract with Dish. I'll be getting fewer channels, but all I'm really losing is filler that nobody watches anyway.

Should have done this a long time ago.


August 26th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

dish is just gawk awful--and I mean the company, not the service. As if you need another reason.

the owner is Charlie Ergen. google him. he is a total a-hole. Often accused of horrible business ethics. His company has paid sanctions for abusing court rules many times, including for destroying evidence. Ergen is such a pennypinching billionaire that he makes company employees share hotel rooms on biz trips -- this a company will billions of $ of revenue a year. His company has a very high employee turnover rate -- lots of yelling by supervisors, a place you can't speak back to management, etc. Last month Dish lost a case in NY where they refused to pay contractually required fees to a telecom company that fired Dish to switch to DirecTV.

Scumbags, to be blunt.

don't use Dish if you can at all help yourself.

Blue Cheese

August 26th, 2012 at 6:09 PM ^

I have DISH for two reasons: 1. I can get NESN (long-time Red Sox fan) and 2. BTN (UMichigan dad). I just called DISH and was informed there have been zero discussions with BTN regarding a change in their status with DISH, and they do not foresee any changes. Also, I must say, I have not had any of the reception problems discussed. Of course, I have lost the signal occasionally, but other than that, I am satisfied with my service.


August 26th, 2012 at 7:19 PM ^

I have had dish for about 5 years and have had great service. I get free pay channels all the time and I like the fact that my bill is always the same. I have priced out directtv and it is just too expensive for the programming they offer.

All that being said, dish better get their shit together and get this resolved quickly.

Steve in PA

August 26th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

I've put up the the AMC issues because I have Netflix and my wife hasn't seen all the previous BB's.  I have made it quite clear to them that if they don't have it resolved by the time Walking Dead starts I'm gone.

This could move up the date even quicker.

It's funny how people get so attached to whichever Sat provider they have.  I've had them both and frankly it's a commodity.  The only difference in them to me is price.  The only complaint I've had with Dish is that ESPNU is not HD and looks like ass on my Panasonic Plasma.


August 26th, 2012 at 9:34 PM ^

Nooooo!! I had Comcast for a year I left them when my package went from 50.00 to 104.00 I still wanted to stay and eliminate showtime and starz so my bill would go down. My stupid father doesn't have Comcast in Livonia so he talks me into dish so he can leave U- verse and my bill went from 45 to 95. Every company scams but its better to pay for consistentcy. Dish stinks but I'm dealing with it but if big ten goes I'm snapping on them.