Disney channels restored to Sling TV and Dish

It’s unclear who blinked but someone did and the brief carriage dispute that saw all Disney-owned channels, including ESPN networks, removed from Dish and Sling TV is now over (presuming a new deal is officially signed).

Wall Street Journal media reporter Joe Flint was the first to report the news.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported a statement from Disney, stating that “We have reached a handshake agreement with DISH/Sling TV…As a result, we are pleased to restore our portfolio of networks on a temporary basis while both parties work to finalize a new deal.”

Soon after, Dish posted a tweet announcing that “we are pleased to announce that all your Disney and ESPN channels have been restored.”

And Sling did the same.

It’s quite the stark difference in language from Friday when news of the dispute first broke. Then, Dish accused Disney is “holding viewers hostage” and that their demand of “nearly a billion dollar increase” is untenable.

Disney, meanwhile, had said that “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.”

This ends the second major carriage blackout for Disney in the past year, following their dispute with YouTubeTV in December.

For Dish, they can add The Mouse to their long list of networks and content companies they have entered into carriage disputes with, including TEGNASinclairNBC SportsCapitol BroadcastingNexstarNFL Network & RedZone, and Fox.

The good news for NFL fans is that the channels were restored just in time to ensure that all subscribers will get to watch Monday Night Football on ESPN. However, that’s small consolation for the college football fans who missed much of Saturday’s action on the ESPN networks and ABC (in some markets).

[Joe Flint, John Ourand]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.