A couple months ago we told you about another programming dispute in the sports world, this time with Fox Sports 1 and AT&T U-Verse squaring off. This dispute is unique though, in the sense that U-Verse isn’t pulling the channel with FS1 going dark. However, the carrier is preventing customers from seeing the biggest live sporting events on FS1 because of an argument over money. The original agreement between Fox and AT&T didn’t include those top live events. Fox wanted more coin. AT&T balked.
That means sports fans have been blacked out from watching MLS, NASCAR, and other sporting events on the network. Perhaps one of the biggest blows is missing Fox Sports 1’s big first entry into the USA-Mexico rivalry Wednesday night. Fox Sports 1 has been peppering their Twitter feed with announcements featuring big, scary red letters warning U-Verse customers when they’ll miss these live sporting events.
— TPdubs (@BookerTdub) April 13, 2015
So what have AT&T customers been getting instead of these live sporting events? Darts.
@NASCAR_XFINITY why am I seeing darts in fox sports 1 and not the race?????
— Joanna Gossett (@JoannaGossett) April 11, 2015
Why is @FOXSports1 showing World Darts instead of @MLS match, LA v Seattle? Sounds like issue with AT&T U-Verse.
— Michael Hitchcock (@Hitchnewbiz) April 13, 2015
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) March 31, 2015
I love darts as much as anyone and the chance to get to watch Michael Van Gerwen square off against Gary Anderson on American television would be amazing… but yea, that’s not good to be missing out on these events in real time. And it shows one of the major struggles in FS1’s hopes to build a competitor to ESPN. They need those increased carriage fees to increase revenue and offset the cost of acquiring more rights fees. Unfortunately, seemingly any programming change or new contract in the cable and satellite world sets off one of these tiresome disputes. AT&T and Fox need to get this sorted out because an agreement is best for the future of both and more importantly, best for consumers.