Updated Oct 3, 2022 - Economy

Disney, ESPN, ABC back on Dish, Sling TV after 2-day blackout

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney network channels including ABC, ESPN, Hulu and National Geographic are back on Dish Network and Sling TV Monday morning after going dark Saturday after both sides failed to reach a new carriage agreement.

The latest: In a statement, Disney said it's reached "a handshake agreement with DISH/Sling TV," and 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."

  • The channels were restored ahead of Monday Night Football.

The big picture: It was the second significant blackout for Disney in the last year after channels briefly went dark on YouTube TV.

  • Dish has utilized aggressive negotiation tactics lately, commonly using blackouts and the threat of blackouts in recent years, per The Hollywood Reporter.

By the numbers: Dish currently has approximately 10 million subscribers split between the satellite TV service and Sling TV, per THR.

Between the lines: The blackout came just ahead of the new fall TV season with multiple shows returning to ABC and Disney. ESPN is also in the middle of the college and NFL football seasons, as well as the MLB playoffs.

  • Saturday morning, Dish Network was a trending topic on Twitter as many football fans expressed frustration at being unable to watch sports on ESPN's family of networks.
  • Many also blasted Dish Network and Disney for failing to warn customers that they would be unable to watch these networks in the days before the carriage agreement expired.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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