If you’re a football fan in the state of Michigan this weekend and you are relying on Dish as your television provider, things might get dicey for your viewing experience.
Dish and Fox Networks are currently locked in a dispute that has Fox’s family of channels, including Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network pulled from their lineup. The local Fox affiliates are unaffected.
With both Michigan-Rutgers and Michigan State-Indiana on Big Ten Network this weekend, this creates a pretty crummy scenario for fans hoping to see their teams play. It could also affect Detroit Lions fans and the game against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs if the dispute lasts into Sunday.
“DISH/Sling is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. “DISH/Sling elected to drop Fox Networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is DISH/Sling’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the Fox services are widely available through every other major television provider.”
Dish, who is the second-largest satellite provider in the U.S. with over 12 million households served, blames Fox for the dispute.
Regardless, someone had better figure it out ahead of the weekend. Or not if you’re afraid of what you may find when these games come around.
Making sense of Harbaugh’s future
The torches and pitchforks have been out all week for Jim Harbaugh after another embarrassing setback in a big moment last weekend at Wisconsin. It has the nation debating on what the future may be for the Wolverines’ head coach, but the more that we settled down coming out of last weekend, the more it becomes clear that things are more complicated than people think they are.
Bill Bender of the Sporting News tackled a popular narrative this week titled, “If Jim Harbaugh can’t coach Michigan, then who can?”
Harbaugh has put Michigan in a newfound state of limbo. It’s not the same as Rodriguez, who lasted three seasons, or Hoke, who lasted four. Those coaches were easily disposable. Harbaugh was brought in as messianic coach, but those who listened closely heard him say “no promises” at his introductory news conference.
That’s why the more-likely scenario at play here is that Harbaugh will decide his own future at Michigan over the next few seasons. Perhaps Harbaugh creates his own exit strategy to the NFL. After all, Harbaugh was 44-19-1 and has the fifth-highest winning percentage of all time. He beat Bill Belichick in Foxborough. A handful of jobs come open every season, and his name still comes up. Former Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein left for Cleveland. Could Harbaugh follow him?
That’s admitted hyperbole, but that far-fetched scenario is about as realistic as Harbaugh getting fired after this season.
New play-by-play voice announced for Michigan hoops
Matt Shepherd had been on the call for Michigan Men’s Basketball on the radio in recent years, but his new gig as the television voice for the Detroit Tigers caused a bit of a conflict at the end of last season, which led to Brian Boesch replacing him down the stretch last season.
With the conflict in schedules, Michigan has elected to give Boesch the full-time job starting this season.
“I know Matt really wanted to keep doing it, and if it was feasible, I think (they) would’ve,” Boesch told The Detroit News on Wednesday. “I’m indebted to Matt. He was willing to get me involved on the broadcast doing when he was doing play-by-play at a level that just doesn’t happen a whole lot in this business. He had a trust in me, and I’m grateful for that.”
Boesch previously hosted the halftime and postgame shows for Michigan basketball on the Learfield IMG College network and also works on a podcast with former Michigan lineman Jon Jansen.
- This week’s guest picker on ESPN’s College GameDay is actress Gabrielle Union, who is a huge Nebraska fan and will be in town for the game against Ohio State.
- Madness has taken over the Fox College Football team, as Urban Meyer predicts both LSU and Alabama will make the College Football Playoff out of the SEC West. Brady Quinn went a step further and has LSU, Alabama and Georgia making the playoff. That’s just...wow.
- ESPN has named 12 teams that are serious contenders to make the playoff after four weeks of football. Michigan is not one of them.