Dish Network (DISH) might blackout Disney (DIS) after the companies’ carriage deal expires at the end of Sept.
According to a Tweet made by Mike Bergen of Bergen Capital, an investment capital firm, “Negotiations are not going well.” The blackout would cause Dish subscribers to lose access to the Disney channels, ABC affiliates and ESPN. According to Media Post estimates, Dish is currently paying $5 a month per subscriber for ESPN and may be asked to raise that payment to $7 or more a month. The increased rate may cause the television provider to separate ESPN from channels available in a package and instead offer them as premium channels, like what it does with HBO and Showtime channels. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, stands against rising programming fees. He has questioned the idea of television providers paying large fees to carry channels like ESPN, which aren’t viewed by the majority of Dish’s audience, reports TV Predictions.
If it happens, the Disney blackout by Dish could last longer than that experienced by Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) customers during its month-long blackout of CBS (CBS) earlier this year.