There are no real winners when big companies have pissing contests, but the consumer is usually the loser. In this case, that means you, sports fan. That’s because Dish Network and Sling are on one side, and the Fox Sports RSNs are on the other (among other Disney-operated networks.)
In boring business speak, the Carriage Contracts which govern the relationship between Dish (and it’s subsidiary Sling) and the companies which provide the content (in other words, the channel owners) are up. Basically, zero hour is here for their negotiations, and this is the ultimate leverage. Starting tomorrow, July 22nd, Dish will no longer be carrying the Fox RSN’s until an agreement can be reached. If you want way more detail, this link from Variety has you covered.
While Fox Sports North is also home to the Timberwolves and Wild, this is a Twins blog, and the Twins are in season, so that’s where our focus is. This will impact the TV homes of not just the Twins, but also Cleveland, the Tigers, Royals, Brewers, and a bunch of other MLB teams.
So, if you are going to lose your ability to watch the game, what should you do? Fox has put together a website with some pretty handy FAQ’s, and social media links to make your voice heard. If you just want to watch the game though, you do have some options. If you are out of market, you probably won’t be affected, but have MLB.tv for a fallback. For those of you in the blackout zones though, that doesn’t help much. DirecTV and Xfinity may be options if you prefer traditional TV and are willing to switch providers. For the cord-cutters, Hulu with Live TV, Youtube TV, and and Playstation VUE are all available. Another great over-the-top option is FUBO.tv, which provides a seven day free trial and in-market streaming capability, as well a tiny commission to some of your friendly Twinkie Towners if you choose to try it out through that link. That same website with the FAQ’s will also give you a list of options based on your zip code.
Please consider the above list a comprehensive overview of streaming services that can be mentioned on this site. We all know others exist, but they are not, strictly speaking, legal; and are not to be mentioned in the comments.