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ESPN and other Disney networks go dark on Dish and Sling TV

Dish Network and Sling TV no longer carry any Disney-owned channels, such as regional ABC affiliates, ESPN, FX, and 17 others. Disney’s carriage deal expired at 3AM ET on October 1st, according to Dish, and they requested approximately $1 billion more to extend it. Disney’s channels had to be temporarily removed from both platforms as a result, according to Dish. Both sides are pointing the finger at one another for the blackout, as is typical in these circumstances.

Disney allegedly rejected Dish’s offer of a contract extension and left the negotiation table after receiving it. Dish issued a statement saying, “We were unable to reach a mutual renewal agreement with Disney and, in the absence of a contract, we are legally obligated to remove their channels from our service.”

Disney has been charged with holding “viewers hostage for negotiating leverage” by Dish. According to the report, Disney allegedly requested that Dish add ESPN and ESPN2 to packages that don’t already contain sports channels. Additionally, it said that Disney sought to change a rule allowing Dish users to cut local channels and save money. Dish claimed that Disney now wants to take this away by making the majority of Dish subscribers in their ABC markets pay for local channels.

Disney, on the other hand, argued that it wasn’t given a reasonable offer to keep channels like ESPN and National Geographic on Dish and Sling TV. Disney issued a statement to Variety stating, “After months of good faith negotiations, Dish has declined to establish a fair, market-based arrangement with us for continuing distribution of our networks.”

The prices and conditions we are asking for are in line with the market and have served as the basis for many prosperous agreements with pay-TV providers of all shapes and sizes across the nation. We urge Dish to cooperate with us so that the inconvenience to their customers is kept to a minimum because we’re dedicated to coming to a just conclusion.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, ACC Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, and Baby TV are among the Disney networks that Dish was forced to remove from its platforms. Local ABC stations in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, North Carolina, and San Francisco had to be dropped by Dish as well.

Disney’s networks have been unavailable on a significant live TV streaming service twice in the last year. Due to a dispute with Disney over carriage fees, YouTube TV was denied access to them in December. The stalemate, however, was short-lived as local ABC networks and ESPN returned the following day.

Dish has fought with other powerful media companies. In 2018, HBO and Cinemax disappeared from Dish and Sling TV. After Dish and WarnerMedia, which is now a part of Warner Bros. Discovery, negotiated an arrangement, the channels and HBO Max were once more made available on the service last year. The channels including HBO Max are still unavailable on Sling TV, though.

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