Several alert readers pointed us to word that Dish Network has started uplinking the SportsTime Ohio feed behind the scenes, but is not yet offering it to subscribers.
The move is pointed out on this unofficial Dish Network Channel Chart, where folks who have access to diagnostic equipment track the pre-launch moves of Dish Network's channels. To wit:
"Sports Time Ohio, new home to the Cleveland Indians is now listed on channel 431 on tp 24 at 110°. This location is generally used by part-time channels. This is not visible or available to subscribers at this time (ANON)"
Does this mean Dish Network subscribers are about to get the new Indians-owned regional sports network? Not necessarily. We hear that Dish has uplinked other potential networks in the background in the past, only to pull them down when negotiations fall apart. (We understand that the "YES" network, the New York Yankees-owned RSN, has been through this for a couple of years now. Dish has never actually carried YES, but has moved it on and off the non-visible satellite lineup.)
Still, it may signal that Dish hopes that an agreement is near, so it's probably good news that they're at least testing it.