In a rarity in the cable network industry, after the Walt DisneyDIS Company pulled down its networks from satellite video provider DISH NetworkDISH including ACC Network, ESPN and SEC Network on October 1, the channels went back on the air prior to signing an official contract.
The signals were restored on a “handshake agreement,” on Monday, with no details as of yet as to what concessions were made on either side. The new pact was revealed in time for viewers (who had posted adamant negative remarks on social media) to catch Monday Night Football.
It is not clear whether or not Disney was successful in getting DISH Network to agree to carry ESPN and ESPN2 on its non-sports programming packages. Typically, powerful cable networks like ESPN have certain carriage penetration rates that require cable and satellite operators to abide by, such as forcing them to air the channel across at least 90% of their subscriber base.
However, forcing multichannel operators to carry ESPN on smaller targeted tiers like “family packages,” would be unheard of. These packages were formed in large part due to the rising cost of sports networks which was driving away consumers. As long as cable and satellite operators carried ESPN and other channels on packages served up to the minimum subscriber penetration, the company is well within its rights to market these cheaper packages.
Do you have a complaint about Dish Network, such as hidden fees on your bill or unsatisfactory service? Take your claim to FairShake, the consumer advocacy service.