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Disney has begun advising that several of its newly acquired channels, including FX and National Geographic, might go dark on Dish Network if the satellite TV service cannot come to terms with the giant conglomerate.
If the dispute escalates to a loss of access, it would also impact those who subscribe to Sling TV, the skinny bundle offered by Dish, and the channels in jeopardy include FXX, FXM and National Geographic WILD, all of which Disney acquired with its partial acquisition of the former 21st Century Fox.
“Our contract with Dish for the FX and National Geographic networks is due to expire soon, so we have a responsibility to make our viewers aware of the potential loss of our programming. However, we remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so,” a Disney spokesperson said Tuesday.
Disney’s current deal for the FX and Nat Geo channels on Dish expires at 9 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
“Our goal is to keep these channels available to our customers,” a spokesperson for Dish and Sling said Tuesday. “Disney, the new owner of these channels, decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”
Channel blackouts during carriage disputes have become common, especially with Dish, where chairman Charlie Ergen typically balks at demands for increased payments to channel operators, as was the case with Univision and remains the case with HBO. Amid cord-cutting and the HBO dispute, Dish reported in July that it lost 31,000 net TV subscribers in the second quarter while adding 48,000 at Sling.
Aside from Dish, AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse remain at odds with Nexstar’s local TV stations while the telecommunications giant and parent of WarnerMedia recently settled a dispute with several CBS stations.
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