Channels return after weekend standoff
After Dish and Sling customers woke up Saturday morning to find Disney channels missing, they returned late Sunday night as the parties came to a tentative agreement.
The move to pull the channels came after the contract between the two parties expired on September 30 and neither negotiated an extension to keep the channels on the air. More unusual was consumers were not given a heads-up and the channels were pulled without warning.
Among the networks missing this weekend included Freeform, FX, and the family of ESPN networks, who carried key college football matchups Saturday, including LSU-Auburn. Also missing was ABC in markets where the network owned the local station including ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV) and in other big markets including New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
ABC also carried college football Saturday including North Carolina State playing at Clemson in a key ACC matchup in primetime with both teams ranked in the top ten. N.C. State is located in Raleigh, where ABC owns WTVD, serving the Raleigh/Durham area, and thus was blacked out on Dish. As you can imagine, Dish customers were angry they were not able to see the game, unless they had an antenna. In fact, Dish reportedly offered to keep WTVD on the air Saturday so viewers won’t miss the game, but Disney rejected the idea.
For Dish viewers, the resolution is good news as tonight’s Monday Night Football game is only on ESPN (with the Peyton/Eli running commentary on ESPN 2) and is not on ABC.
Until the next retrans standoff…
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