Will Dish Network and Fox Sports
Midwest Reach a Deal?
It was quite the surprise last season. Seemingly out of left field, Dish Network customers were informed they would miss 35 St. Louis Blues games during the 2009-10 season. There was no advance notice. Rather, as Dish subscribers viewed their telecast, the game cut out and instead showed other programming, leaving many uncertain as to what had just happened. Will this whole mess get resolved before the 2010-11 season?
Last year was ugly. Speaking as a current Dish customer, I was pretty dismayed when I found out about Dish and Fox Sports Midwest failing to reach a deal before the season got underway. I was even more dismayed when the two sides clearly were not going to reach a deal at any point during the season.
As the main man behind this here Blues blog, it doesn’t bode well when a huge chunk (35 games) of the year is unwatchable.
I do give both sides correct. Their PR representatives were pretty quick in contacting me when my first article on the situation ran back on October 16th. Each side expressed their desire to reach a deal but that both sides were very far apart in their negotiation process.
Let’s be clear about something: My main means of income is through marketing, so I understand how this all works. I appreciate both sides for contacting me, but there is only so much an email can do to smooth over a situation such as 35 games suffering through an unneeded blackout.
Quickly after my article was posted, the traffic on this site exploded. I was seeing a handful of readers a day, but the Dish vs. FSMW made things take off on here from a numbers perspective, so for that I am thankful. However, it did show that I was not alone in my frustration.
Yes, I am still a Dish customer. Between the options available to me, Dish offered the most for the best price – blackouts or no blackouts, I couldn’t justify throwing more money away to switch. Instead I found various means online to fulfill all my St. Louis Blues needs.
That brings us to the present. October is just around the corner. Have the two sides reached an agreement nearly a year after the first debacle came to light? No.
Jeremy Rutherford, an outstanding reporter for the Post-Dispatch was asked about this exact situation. He said that Fox Sports Midwest was “cautiously optimistic” a deal would get done prior to the season. I don’t know about you, but that answer sure seems to lack confidence. I find it very hard to believe that there was no issue between Fox Sports Midwest and all the other providers, yet Dish and Fox Sports are so far apart in their terms. Judging by their responses to my original post way back in October of 2009, each side is trying to make it out to seem that they are not at fault and are simply victims of an unfortunate situation.
Fans like myself that stuck with Dish through the mess that was the 2009-10 season will not be so patient if this happens again. I am all for giving someone or some company the benefit of the doubt, but at some point answers must be given.