At 3:00 a.m. Saturday, Dish and Sling TV providers dropped a bombshell: They will no longer carry Disney channels, including ESPN.
No. 11 Penn State’s (4-0, 1-0 Big 10) game against Northwestern (1-3, 1-0 Big 10) at 3:30 p.m. is on ESPN, meaning fans that subscribe to one of these providers will be unable to watch the game on their television.
It also means they’ll be unable to watch Aaron Judge pursue record-breaking home run No. 62 for the time being.
Our contract has expired with The Walt Disney Company. Our goal and priority is to reach a fair agreement to bring their channels back as quickly as possible. Visit https://t.co/TH9bxCgYKp for more information and to make your voice heard, call Disney at 818-560-1000. pic.twitter.com/XD7YIOQRsK
— DISH (@dish) October 1, 2022
These media blackouts to get a better deal are nothing new, though it’s unusual that subscribers didn’t get a warning. Companies like DirectTV have had to black out channels in the past, but either the channel provider or the television provider would put out a warning in the weeks prior of a blackout to try and get people to their side. In this case, neither Disney or Dish gave their customers a heads-up.
Both companies are putting out statements blaming the other to try and draw people to their side. On the currently blacked out channels, Dish has a message that claims Disney “asked for $1 billion in fees” and declined an offer from it while Disney is claiming that Dish rejected a “fair market-based offer.” It’s unknown who’s in the right in this argument. All that’s known is that about 10 million subscribers are now without some of the most watched channels on television.
According to Variety, Dish is known to be tough in negotiations and uses blackouts commonly as a tactic. Both Dish and Disney just recently ended blackouts of their own for negotiations. Dish recently ended a three-week blackout of Sony’s Game Show Network while Disney just ended a two-day blackout of its channels with YouTube TV.
Both were post-negotiations.
It’s unknown how long the blackout will be for, but ones as big as this don’t typically take long.
Disney and Dish have put out numbers to call the other company to try and encourage them to make a deal faster.
In total, 19 national channels will be blacked out alongside eight local ABC affiliates. The full list of networks affected by the blackout are: 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.
ABC-owned locals affected are: Chicago (WLS), Fresno, Calif. (KFSN), Houston (KTRK), Los Angeles (KABC), New York (WABC), Philadelphia (WPVI), Raleigh, N.C. (WTVD) and San Francisco (KGO).