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Dish Network streamer pulls Sinclair sports network Stadium

The logo of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Sinclair sports network. (Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network-owned streaming TV service Sling TV has stopped carrying Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Stadium sports network.

In a message to viewers first spotted by The Desk on Friday, Sling TV told subscribers that the service is “continuously evaluat[ing] programming in order to provide the best content to customers.”

The move comes less than a year after Dish Network engaged in a carriage dispute with Sinclair after the broadcaster demanded carriage of its Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks.

“Today on our network, we may have people who want to watch regional sports, but it’s a fraction of what it was [in 2019],” Charles Ergen, Dish Network’s co-founder and chairman, said last year.

Dish Network and Sling TV emerged from that dispute somewhat victorious: Sinclair’s local broadcast channels are still available to customers, but slowly the satellite and streaming services have pared down their sports offerings.

Stadium may not be viewed as a monumental loss to Sling TV subscribers: The channel has lower viewership compared to sports networks offered by Fox Corporation (FS1, FS2), the Walt Disney Company (ESPN) and Comcast (regional NBC Sports-branded networks).

For viewers who still crave Stadium, there are a few ways to get access to the network. Stadium is carried as a digital channel on free broadcast television in many markets, and the network itself is available to stream for free on Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, Comcast’s Xumo and Sinclair’s own streamer STIRR.

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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).