Disney on Saturday pulled its 20 television stations — including ABC, ESPN and FX — from the Dish Network and Sling TV services after the two companies failed to reach a new carriage deal.
Dish, which has a reputation for aggressive negotiations with networks that often include a willingness to lose service temporarily, accused Disney of seeking nearly $1 billion in additional fees to extend its current contract, which expired at midnight PT on Sept. 30.
“Disney has exploited its market position to increase fees without regard for the public viewing experience,” Brian Neylon, Dish executive vice president and group president, said in a statement. “Clearly, Disney insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, especially sports fans and families with children who watch their content.”
Disney, meanwhile, blamed Dish executives for its decision to pull its networks from the satellite TV provider.
“After months of negotiating in good faith, Dish has declined to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our networks,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Dish reported 9.99 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of June 2022, including 7.79 million Dish TV subscribers and 2.20 million Sling TV subscribers.
Here’s the full list of Disney-owned networks affected by the blackout: 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.