Big Ten Network says DISH leaving Maryland fans 'in dark'

September 11, 2014|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Maryland subscribers of the DISH satellite service won't be able to access the Big Ten Network to watch Saturday's Maryland-West Virginia football game — and the network has purchased a spirited newspaper ad to explain its side of the story.

The network and DISH remain locked in a dispute over the terms under which DISH would carry BTN in Maryland and New Jersey.

"DISH is leaving Maryland fans in the dark," the network says in the draft of an ad it bought for Friday's Baltimore Sun.

BTN carries a number of Maryland football games, as well as dozens of contests in basketball and other sports.

The ad draft lists upcoming Terps football games and says: "If you want to watch these Maryland games, there are other TV providers that carry these games on BTN."

Reached by email Thursday, DISH said its position was unchanged since providing a statement on Aug. 30, the day of Maryland's opening football game.

"Big Ten Network is requiring that DISH pay a significant additional charge to carry University of Maryland and Rutgers University home games in their home states," that statement said. "We are unwilling to pass these costs on to our customers."

BTN said it wants its programming to appear as part of an expanded basic package as in other Big Ten states, rather than on a separate sports tier.

"Our network is extremely disappointed that DISH has decided not to provide Maryland games to the State of Maryland," BTN President Mark Silverman said.

DISH says it has about 14 million subscribers. It does not publicly release subscriber numbers by state.

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