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Dish offers bill credit to Sling TV customers after outage

The Barstool Sports Channel appears on a device running Dish Network’s Sling TV service. (Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network’s streaming television service Sling TV is offering bill credits to customers who were affected by a technical disruption that made it difficult to watch some live sports channels last week.

The outage happened Saturday and affected access to several national sports networks, including ESPN and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), which left fans of college football scrambling for other ways to watch certain games aired on those channels.

The precise cause of the outage was not immediately clear, but some Sling TV subscribers said they were able to use their login credentials to watch live sports through the ESPN and Fox Sports apps as an alternative.

In an email sent to Sling TV customers this week, Dish apologized for the outage and said they would extend $10 bill credits to affected subscribers, which will post to customer accounts by the end of the week.

The credit will be applied to the “next transaction” that happens on a customer’s account. For most, it means their monthly subscription fee will be reduced by $10, though customers can also use the credits toward a digital movie rental, pay-per-view event or a subscription add-on bundle.

The issue comes as Dish is trying to reverse its recent bad fortunes in the pay television space: While Sling TV added more than 117,000 customers during the company’s third financial quarter of the year, the gain was entirely offset by losses at Dish, which saw its customer base shrink by 181,000. Overall, Dish lost 64,000 pay customers during the quarter, attributed in part to higher programming-related costs that are charged to subscribers of its satellite and streaming services.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).