● Disney initiates channel blackout, holds viewers hostage for negotiation leverage
● Disney ignores DISH’s extension offers, walks away from table
● Disney demands nearly a billion dollar increase
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., October 1, 2022 – The Walt Disney Company today forced a channel blackout on DISH TV and SLING TV, affecting favorites such as ESPN, FX, Disney Channel, Freeform and National Geographic, as well as ABC locals in eight markets. The media conglomerate declined DISH's offer for a contract extension, walked away from the negotiation table and refused to keep its programming accessible for millions of DISH and SLING customers across the United States. The removal of these channels will also have an oversized impact on rural consumers who rely on satellite television as a primary means of entertainment.
“Disney has exploited its market position to increase fees without regard for the public viewing experience,” said Brian Neylon, executive vice president and group president, DISH TV. “Clearly, Disney insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, especially sports fans and families with children who watch their content.”
As one of the nation’s largest media conglomerates, Disney is more interested in becoming a monopolistic power than providing its programming to viewers under fair terms. Disney plans to spend billions on its direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Disney+ and ESPN+ — platforms not included for DISH and SLING customers.
“We will continue to negotiate to provide the best value for our customers. We want to provide customers with fair rates, reliable service and the freedom of choice to pay for the channels they watch most,” added Gary Schanman, executive vice president and group president, SLING TV. “Disney is an important long-term partner for us, and we hope they will be reasonable in their demands so we can reach a fair agreement and bring our customers' channels back as quickly as possible.”
For more information:
DISH customers can visit dishpromise.com.
SLING customers can visit slingpromise.com.
ABC stations impacted by Disney’s blackout include: Chicago, IL (WLS), Fresno, CA (KFSN), Houston, TX (KTRK), Los Angeles, CA (KABC), New York, NY (WABC), Philadelphia, PA (WPVI), Raleigh, NC (WTVD) and San Francisco, CA (KGO)
DISH Network Corporation is a connectivity company. Since 1980, it has served as a disruptive force, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers with its satellite DISH TV and streaming SLING TV services. In 2020, the company became a nationwide U.S. wireless carrier through the acquisition of Boost Mobile. DISH continues to innovate in wireless, building the nation's first virtualized, O-RAN 5G broadband network. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is a Fortune 200 company.