Imagine settling down after a long day, ready to relax, recharge, and watch your local news. Or maybe your kids want to watch their favorite Disney Channel show. You turn on your television, go to the Disney or ABC channel of your choice, and…nothing shows up. You think that maybe there is a mistake, an error on the provider’s end. Then you find out that there is no mistake. This cable provider that you are paying every month will no longer show Disney-owned channels like ABC and ESPN because a deal had fallen through.
On Friday, September 30, Dish Network and Sling users saw that exact thing happen. The Walt Disney Company and Dish TV, as well as Sling TV, had failed to come to an agreement and the channels went dark. The outrage was immediate, and the channels didn’t remain dark for long. According to a statement from Disney, the company has come to a “handshake agreement” with both Dish and Sling.
Per a report from The Wrap:
“We have reached a handshake agreement with DISH/Sling TV, which properly reflects fair market value and terms for The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled content,” Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution said of the deal in a statement. “As a result, we are pleased to restore our portfolio of networks on a temporary basis while both parties work to finalize a new deal.”
After the initial deal fell through, Dish Network tweeted that it was looking to make a deal with Disney that was “fair” to both parties.
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 dishpromise.com for more information and to make your voice heard, call Disney at 818-560-1000.
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
Disney, for its part, blamed Dish for not being willing to come to an agreement.
Disney stated that it was Dish who declined to “reach a fair, market-based agreement” after “months of negotiating in good faith.”
“As a result, their DISH and Sling TV subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming from the ABC Owned Television Stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks, the National Geographic channels and BabyTV,” Disney’s statement continued. “The rates and terms we are seeking reflect the marketplace and have been the foundation for numerous successful deals with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country. We’re committed to reaching a fair resolution, and we urge DISH to work with us in order to minimize the disruption to their customers.”
The outcry from both Dish and Sling users was immediate, and it was focused on both sides. The anger was so apparent that the Disney channels, like ABC local stations, were restored before official agreements were even made.