Disney and the Dish Network have reached a “handshake agreement” for a new distributions deal, ending a two-day blackout of Disney-owned networks on both Dish and Sling TV platforms (obvious channels like ESPN and Disney Channel were affected, but so were eight local ABC affiliates in various cities, all of which are now available again). This comes from Variety, which says that terms of the deal were not disclosed, but that Disney initially wanted to jack up licensing fees by $1 billion, to force Dish to offer ESPN and ESPN2 on channel packages that don’t include sports, and to force Dish to give subscribers in those aforementioned various cities their local ABC channels—basically, Disney wanted to get more money, to put more of its channels in front of Dish subscribers, and for the Disney company to bleed just a tiny bit.
It’s not hard to see why this required some doing, since Dish is clearly getting screwed there and presumably wasn’t thrilled about it, but at least it’s all in the past now. Dish subscribers can go back to watching their sports and their Grey’s Anatomy, and Disney can go back to making sure its Scrooge McDuck money vault is deep enough to high-dive into. Because let’s be clear about this: Dish needed Disney a lot more than Disney needed Dish, if only because Disney now owns a lot of TV channels.
We won’t say it owns too many, because we wouldn’t dream of editorializing in a news story at The A.V. Club (not counting the one or two times we’ve done it in the past), but here’s the list of channels that were blacked out on Dish and Sling: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews (ESPN ooze?), ESPN Deportes, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, ACC Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, Baby TV, and the ABC affiliates in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, and San Francisco.
Losing the ESPN family of networks is bad, losing the FX family of networks is also bad, but losing all of them because one mouse controls a massive chunk of the entertainment industry like those marching brooms he once brought to life is… something, certainly. A hypothetical person might even hypothetically argue that it’s bad! We just think it’s whatever. Who cares.