Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — Over the years, Utah Jazz fans have had their issues with AT&T SportsNet.
Here are just a few:
- Audio going out on multiple occasions
- A black screen when a game should be on
- A severe lack of streaming services
Get ready for another year of that.
The team announced Monday that, for at least one more season, the network will be the exclusive regional television home of the Jazz. You can almost hear the collective sigh across the Wasatch Front.
That means all the issues that have plagued the broadcasts in the past are likely to return, and a new one is already here.
As of last week, Dish Network no longer carries the network. So for all the Utahns who have Dish, watching Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and the rest of the Jazz just became much more difficult.
"The current RSN model is fundamentally broken," Brian Neylon, Dish's group president, said in a release. "This model requires nearly all customers to pay for RSNs when only a small percentage of customers actually watch them."
Dish claimed AT&T Sports-managed regional sports networks were demanding rates that would have been passed on to nearly every customer, whether they watch the regional networks or not. Dish's hope was to offer the local networks as a premium a-la-carte channel with subscribers paying extra fees to view a specific network.
The two sides, however, could not come to terms, leaving fans in Utah, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Seattle and elsewhere searching for ways to watch their favorite teams.
"We are not surprised Dish Network has chosen to deprive their customers of our regional sports networks," said Patrick Crumb, president of AT&T Sports Networks. "As each of the nation's regional sports networks' agreements with Dish has come up for renewal over the last several years, we have witnessed them remove each RSN from their channel lineup."
NESN in Massachusetts is now the only remaining regional sports network carried by Dish — leaving little hope that the two sides can work something out.
Options for Dish customers wishing to watch the Jazz are limited. Comcast and DIRECTV both still carry the channel; but for the cord cutters out there, the only streaming option is DIRECTV Stream. The streaming package that includes AT&T SportsNet is $84.99 per month.
"The availability of streaming choices and digital consumption remains a top priority for our organization," said Jim Olson, Utah Jazz president. "We respect all the different ways that fans want to watch and enjoy Jazz games. Today's broadcast model is about access and connectivity. It is a process as we work with existing contracts, current partners and third-party providers to find the best delivery method for our fan base."
A process that is still ongoing — and for many fans, has taken far too long.