Dish, Disney avoid blackout… for now

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Charlie Ergen

Dish Network and The Walt Disney Company have reached a short-term extension of their programming agreement, averting a blackout of Disney channels while the parties negotiate a long-term deal. Details of the extension weren’t disclosed.

The extension temporarily prevents a blackout of ESPN, Disney Channel, Showtime and some ABC stations for millions of pay-TV subscribers. More than 3 million Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS programming for a month before those two companies agreed to a new retransmission contract on September 2nd.

Dish Chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen has criticised the rising cost of sports programming for several years. He suggested last month a pay-TV company may one day choose to go without the top-rated all-sports channel – a strategy that would lower prices to consumers.

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