Following a “handshake agreement” made by Dish and Disney, subscribers of Sling TV and Dish satellite service will once again have access to Disney’s cable network lineup.
Late on Sunday night, the two businesses announced their deal. While both parties strive to conclude a new agreement, Disney said in a statement that it was glad to restore its portfolio of networks temporarily.
The Disney Channel, FX, National Geographic, local ABC programs in some locations, and more are once again available to Dish and Sling TV users and ESPN (and its connected networks).
The two businesses agreed on a time for ESPN’s upcoming presentation of Monday Night Football, even though the blackout lasted two days and covered college football on Saturday.
In an attempt to renew their carriage contract, Dish charged Disney with “stepping away from the negotiation table” on Saturday.
Also, in a press release issued when the previous agreement ended, Dish said that Disney was more interested in establishing itself as a monopolistic entity than in offering its programming to viewers on fair terms.
Disney was pressuring Dish to bundle ESPN across more satellite TV bundles, including those that don’t currently include sports networks. Dish said that the company intended to charge “almost a billion dollars more” than under the expired agreement.
In response, Disney asserted that its conditions “reflect the marketplace and have formed the foundation for several successful arrangements with pay-TV providers of all shapes and sizes across the country.”
Disney and YouTube got into a fight last year. Carriage renewal disputes between programmers and TV providers are nothing uncommon, but this one was unique in that Dish didn’t give its consumers any notice before the October 1st blackout arrived.
Now that the two parties have reached a definitive deal, it is unclear whether Dish and Sling TV subscribers will soon experience a subscription price increase.
The Disney networks-only Orange tier of Sling TV currently costs $35 per month. This is one of the more affordable options to subscribe to linear ESPN compared to alternatives like YouTube TV ($64.99/month) and Disney’s own Hulu with Live TV ($69.99/month).