Some college football fans may have a tougher time than others when they try to turn on the Week 5 slate of games this weekend.
Dish Network pulled all of Disney’s 20 television channels off of their satellite television service and Sling TV after the two companies failed to renew their carriage deal on Friday. The contract between the two companies expired at midnight PT on Sept. 30, prompting Dish to make the significant move just before a Saturday filled with college football.
According to Dish, Disney asked for a $1 billion increase in fees and declined Dish’s offer for a contract extension. Dish also claimed that Disney is demanding that ESPN and ESPN2 be included in Dish TV packages that currently exclude sports channels, in addition to requiring users to have and pay for local channels.
“Disney has exploited its market position to increase fees without regard for the public viewing experience,” Brian Neylon, EVP and group president of Dish TV, 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 responded, saying that Dish rejected its “fair, market-based” offer for continuing to carry the networks.
“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,” Disney said in a statement, per Variety. “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 statement continued: “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.”
The full list of Disney-owned 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 that have been removed from 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).
More College Football Coverage: