Disney’s 20 cable and broadcast TV networks were restored Sunday night to the lineups of Dish Network’s services following a nearly 48-hour blackout, after the parties reached a “handshake agreement” on a new distribution deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution said the tentative pact covering Dish TV and Sling TV “properly reflects fair market value” for the programming suite, which includes ESPN, Disney Channel, FX, Freeform and ABC owned-and-operated stations.
According to Dish, Disney had asked for a $1 billion increase in fees as part of renewing the deal, which had expired Sept. 30. Dish also claimed that Disney was demanding that ESPN and ESPN2 be included in Dish TV packages that currently exclude sports channels, and to require ABC local channels to be carried for all subscribers in eight markets.
“We have reached a handshake agreement with Dish/Sling TV, which properly reflects fair market value and terms for the Walt Disney Co.’s unparalleled content,” Disney said 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.”
Dish wrote in a tweet just after midnight ET, “We are pleased to announce that all your Disney and ESPN channels have been restored. Thank you for your patience and support.”
Dish is the fourth biggest pay-TV operator in the U.S., after Comcast, Charter and DirecTV. Dish had about 10 million total subscribers as of the end of June 2022, comprising 7.79 million satellite TV subscribers and 2.20 million Sling TV subscribers.
The list of Disney-owned networks affected by the blackout were: 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. In addition, the eight ABC-owned local stations that are now back on Dish and Sling TV are Chicago (WLS), Fresno, Calif. (KFSN), Houston (KTRK), Los Angeles (KABC), New York (WABC), Philadelphia (WPVI), Raleigh, N.C. (WTVD) and San Francisco (KGO).