Dish Network and its Sling TV streaming service have lost Disney-owned channels as a result of a contract dispute.
Contract disputes are an almost everyday occurrence in the TV industry, with networks and streaming services often going to the brink, or even over it, in an effort to negotiate better terms for themselves. Disney and Dish have found themselves in such a spot, with the two companies unable to reach an agreement regarding their contract renewal.
As a result, ABC Owned Television Stations, ESPN networks, Disney channels, Freeform, FX networks, National Geographic channels, and BabyTV have been dropped from Dish and Sling TV.
“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,” a Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution spokesperson said in a statement to WPN. “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. 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.”
It remains to be seen whether the two companies will be able to reach an agreement that will see the channels restored.
In the meantime, the situation is another example of how streaming TV is failing to deliver on its promise. Once upon a time, the concept was touted as a way for consumers to save money and pick and choose the channels they want to watch.
The reality has been far different, with increasing prices, unwanted bundles, and companies that fail to put the consumer first.
Hopefully, the situation will be resolved sooner rather than later.