Dish and Walt Disney Work on Averting a Blackout — Spotlight Is on Pricey ESPN

Oct 1, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A short-term extension of a programming agreement between Dish Network and Walt Disney has averted a blackout of Disney channels for Dish subscribers, reports Bloomberg.

Details of the extension weren’t disclosed. Dish is the third-largest U.S. pay-television service, based on its roughly 14 million total subscribers.

Charlie Ergen, the chairman and co-founder of Dish, has complained about the rising cost of sports programming for years, the story notes. In a recent conference call, he suggested pay-TV operators might eventually skip offering the top-rated sports network, which would lower subscription costs for consumers.

Disney’s ESPN costs $5.54 per month per subscriber, the story says, citing SNL Kagan.

In the call Aug. 6, Ergen said: “Somebody, sometime, may decide that sports isn’t something they have to have. There could be a day when, strategically, companies just can’t get together, where they go opposite directions and they both have strategies that work for them, and we’re prepared to go either way.”

Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS programming for a month this summer after a contract dispute between the two companies.

One Comment

  1. Ergen should ask the opposite question. How many subscribers that only want sports does he force to pay for crap they don’t want. Want Golf, MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL? You have to subscribe to Animal Planet, Lifetime Movie Network, MSNBC, and Science. Want to add the NBC Sports Network and Tennis Channel? Then you also have to add Hallmark, Destination America and Encore. He can complain about ESPN when he is really willing to let the viewers choose what channels they want. This is why more of us are cutting the cord and moving to the web for our television.

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