At 3:00 a.m. this morning, Dish and Sling TV providers dropped a bombshell. That they were no longer carrying Disney channels, including the ACC Network and ESPN.
No. 24 Pittsburgh’s (3-1, 0-0 ACC) conference opener against Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-1 ACC) today at 8:00 p.m. is on ESPN, meaning members of both fanbases that subscribe to one of these providers will be unable to watch the game on their television.
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 is unusual that no warning was given to subscribers. 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 that there is a chance of a blackout to try and get people to their side. In this case, neither Disney or Dish gave their customers a head’s up that the blackout was happening.
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 that Disney “asked for $1 billion in fees” and declined an offer from them while Disney is claiming that Dish rejected a “fair market-based offer.” It is unknown who is in the right in this argument all that is 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. In fact, 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 their channels with YouTube TV. Both were after negotiations were made.
It is unknown how long the blackout will be for, but ones as big as this don’t typically take very long. Both 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).