Published On: Sun, Oct 2nd, 2022

ESPN, Disney, and other networks have returned to Dish and Sling TV


Dish and Disney have reached a “handshake deal” to immediately bring Disney’s collection of cable networks back to Dish satellite and Sling TV customers. The two companies confirmed the agreement late on Sunday night. “We are pleased to restore our portfolio of networks on a temporary basis while both parties work to finalize a new deal,” Disney said in a statement.

Dish and Sling TV subscribers have now regained access to ESPN programming, along with other networks including The Disney Channel, FX, National Geographic, local ABC programming in select markets, and more. The channel blackout lasted two days, and although it included college football on Saturday, the two companies have resolved the situation in time for ESPN’s next broadcast of Monday Night Football.

On Saturday, Dish accused Disney of “walking away from the negotiation table” during efforts to renew their carriage contract. “Disney is more interested in becoming a monopolistic power than providing its programming to viewers under fair terms,” Dish said in a press release after the previous deal expired. Dish claimed Disney wanted “nearly a billion dollar increase” compared to the previous agreement and was pushing Dish to bundle ESPN in more satellite plans.

Disney countered by saying its terms “reflect the marketplace and have been the foundation for numerous successful deals with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country.” Carriage renewal spats between programmers and TV providers are nothing new — Disney and YouTube butted heads last year — but this one was unusual in that Dish didn’t offer much warning to its customers before the October 1st blackout arrived.

Now the question becomes whether Sling TV customers will see a subscription price hike as a result of whatever final contract the two sides end up hammering out. Sling Orange, the tier that includes Disney networks, currently costs $35 per month. That’s one of the cheapest ways to get ESPN compared to services like YouTube TV, which is $64.99/month, and Disney’s own Hulu with Live TV offering, which costs $69.99 per month.



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