TV channels owned by The Walt Disney Company that include ABC, ESPN, FX, Nat Geo and Disney Channels went dark at midnight PT for customers of satellite TV firm Dish Network and its streaming multichannel.
The channels were pulled off after the two companies were unable to compromise on a new carriage agreement. The dispute comes at an inappropriate time.
ABC debuted its new Fall season, with the return of Abbott Elementary, and ESPN in the middle of the NFL season and the MLB playoffs starting next week.
"After months of negotiations in harmony, Dish has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our network," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "
The rates and conditions we are looking for reflect the market and have been the foundation for many successful deals with Pay TV providers of all kinds and sizes across the country.
We are committed to reaching an appropriate solution, and we urge Dish to work with us to reduce disruption for its customers."
Dish, meanwhile, said Disney was seeking a billion-dollar increase in fees, and investing in services such as Disney+ and ESPN+, which are not included in the cost of dish subscriptions.
"Disney has leveraged its market position to raise fees regardless of the public viewing experience," Dish TV Executive Vice President and Group President Brian Neylon said in a statement. "
"Clearly, Disney insists on prioritising greed over American audiences, especially sports fans and families with children watching their content. "
The Dish controversy is the second significant blackout for Disney last year. Disney's channels were briefly shut down on YouTube TV in late 2021.