I submitted the original version of this post in a simple effort to keep Florida fans - who may be denied broadcast coverage of the Panthers due to the ongoing Fox Sports/Dish Network negotiations - current on additional viewing options for upcoming games, which were to provided to me in an email from FS Florida.
Of course, Dish dispatched a rebuttal, and in the interest of fairness to both sides I will reprint that as well, after the jump.
Note: I do not subscribe to Dish Network; in no way am I personally choosing "sides" in this dispute, and prefer not to discuss it, as this is not a forum for airing such laundry; we're here to talk pucks, so let's remain on-topic.
Call this an FYI: Just received the following email from Fox Sports Florida, the contents of which affect every Panthers (and Lightning) fan who enjoys their club's games on Dish Network:
Here's latest on the Fox/Dish Network issue. Fox sent Dish a proposal, but hasn't heard back. Dish is not actively negotiating. So fans will miss Sunday's Panthers season opening game on TV and could miss entire Panthers season on FOX Sports Florida if they remain Dish Network customers as Dish dropped the channel (and Sun Sports as well) from their lineup on Oct. 1.
But fans have options....additional media info. is available at the website below as well.
Fortunately, the game is offered on FOX Sports Florida by a number of other distributors. For more information, viewers should call 1-877-99-I-PAID or visit www.GetWhatIPaidFor.com.
As they say, stay tuned.
Dish Network's response:
Please know that FOX is not telling the truth. Negotiations have occured even today between DISH Network and FOX. FOX is trying to scare viewers, a tactic they've been using in print ads. DISH Network has yet to receive a proposal from FOX that would equal anything but an overly excessive rate increase. The two sides are continuing to negotiate and we are hopeful we can reach a fair deal.On Oct. 1, FOX Networks blocked its regional sports channels from DISH Network satellite TV customers and is demanding an outrageous rate increase in order to restore the programming, depriving millions of viewers their regional sports.This week, public interest groups, including the American Television Alliance, Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance and the Sports Fans Coalition, have publicly voiced their support for DISH Network and are imploring FOX to consider what is best for consumers. The groups strongly urge FOX to discontinue its practice of blocking access to programming while negotiations continue after contracts expire.- Dish Network