One World Says MFN Clause Last Straw in Dish Deal

Sports net says decides not to renew; goes dark effective 7 p.m.
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Claiming that a required provision for “most favored nation” status in its carriage contract was unacceptable, sports network One World Sports said it has opted not to renew its five-year carriage deal with Dish Network and its OTT service Sling TV.

Effective 7 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 30), One World Sports was no longer available to Dish and Sling TV customers.

In a statement, One World said it objects to MFN provisions because they “limit a network’s ability to expand in a rapidly changing marketplace. With an insistence on MFN terms that were imbalanced relative to the network’s carriage, our preference was to provide another in a series of short-term extensions while we worked through a new agreement reflecting our limited availability to Dish subscribers. Regrettably, Dish declined an extension.”

Typically MFNs prohibit a content provider from cutting deals with other distributors at more favorable terms.

In a statement, Dish said that it “constantly evaluates the content we carry and we work to provide channels that our customers’ demand. As a result, sometimes channels are removed based on a combination of customer interest and business terms to carry the channels. For these reasons, One World Sports was removed from the Dish platform.”

Another factor that may have led to the impasse is One World’s desire to seek different terms in its renewal, such as inclusion in a domestic sports package in HD across all platforms instead of the standard definition carriage in an ethnic channel package it had previously enjoyed.

“It is our desire for the network to have carriage on Dish with packaging consistent with, and in a format, where fans look for live sports content,” One World said in a statement.

 “While we know this is the best business decision for our network, we deeply regret how this may impact our viewers and their ability to watch all the exciting programming slated for September,” One World said in its statement.

One World is scheduled to kick off its college football coverage on Sept. 17 with the Yale Bulldogs hosting the Colgate Raiders. The network also continues coverage of the North American Soccer League (NASL) with its Game of the Week and NASL This Week highlight shows and live coverage of all the New York Cosmos’ home and away games. Already underway on the network are Kontinental Hockey League and Champions Hockey League action and the European soccer season featuring Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich FC. 

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