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HD carriage dispute w/ ABC/ESPN/Disney


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#1 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:20 AM

Effective June 22, 2010 the standard-definition feeds of Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family and ESPNews are still available, and you may continue to watch your favorite programs on their regular channel numbers.



DISH Network now offers all customers HD Free for Life, which is possible because we are committed to negotiating fair contracts that allow us to keep our prices low. Disney and ESPN Networks demanded an exorbitant fee for the HD feeds of Disney East, Disney XD, ESPNews and ABC Family – a fee that would be a tax on our customers. After we refused to pay, Disney and ESPN Networks pulled the HD feeds of these four channels only.


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#2 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:26 AM

I thought I read on here somewhere someone saying Dish had a good relationship with ABC/Disney/ESPN. Hmmmm, maybe not so much at the moment it seems. :(


"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." - Douglas Adams

"Who would rule a nation when he could have easier work, such as carrying water uphill in a sieve?" - Robert Jordan


#3 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:31 AM

I just discovered the missing channels and called DISH. This is absolutely ridiculous. I'm paying the same as I was paying last month for DISH but suddenly they can't afford to offer these channels in HD. Come on, Charlie.

#4 OFFLINE   Dave

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:49 AM

Lets not blame Charlie for ABC's greed and high cost for carriage. I can watch them in SD as easy as HD. Tell the CEO of Disney, ABC to get off there high money horse.

#5 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:58 AM

If they pulled ESPNHD & ESPN2HD, then there would be a HUUUUUGE backlash.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#6 OFFLINE   Jables

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:14 AM

As a D* customer who suffered through the VS dispute, I sure hope it takes E* less time to sort things out. Sucks for you guys.

And I'll echo BillJ - I thought the same thing when D* lost VS:

Sat Co: We refuse to pass on these egregious charges to you, our valued customer!
Customer: OK. So we don't get that channel now while you work things out? Do we get to pay less while we're down a channel?
Sat Co: No.
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#7 OFFLINE   domingos35

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:29 AM

If they pulled ESPNHD & ESPN2HD, then there would be a HUUUUUGE backlash.


u damn right about that

#8 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:30 AM

No Longer Available
9433 DISE (172 HD) Disney (East) 129° TP 18 / 61.5° TP 25 HD *TEST* Hidden
9434 ABCFM (180 HD) ABC Family 129° TP 28 / 61.5° TP 25 HD *TEST* Hidden
9449 DISXD (174 HD) Disney XD 129° TP 27 / 61.5° TP 25 HD *TEST* Hidden
9494 ESNWS (142 HD) ESPNews 129° TP 28 / 61.5° TP 25 HD *TEST* Hidden

I thought I read on here somewhere someone saying Dish had a good relationship with ABC/Disney/ESPN. Hmmmm, maybe not so much at the moment it seems. :(

The ESPN lawsuit is still pending ... the relationship seemed good as despite the court case DISH added channels. Apparently not as good as it seemed.

I guess this gives people the answer as to if ESPNU HD will be added any time soon (although sometimes disputes end with new channels).

(According to the court filing, DISH believed their contract with ESPN that included all feeds of ESPN and ESPN2 also included ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD and didn't want to pay extra. ESPN treated their HD feeds as separate channels - and the legal dispute began.)

#9 OFFLINE   n0qcu

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

If they pulled ESPNHD & ESPN2HD, then there would be a HUUUUUGE backlash.


If they would pull these that would be absolutely the very best thing that could ever happen.
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#10 OFFLINE   0pusX

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

this is already is huge issue for me. 3 of those channels are on almost constantly at my house.

#11 OFFLINE   ENDContra

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:47 PM

Hmmm....I can deal with these being gone for a bit, if the end result also gets us ESPNUHD. Any chance of that?

#12 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:50 PM

Well, this may be the dispute to watch to find out just how expensive your TV package will be in the future. I already grumble about how much ESPN is costing me - I could care less if I get it but for anyone to get it we have to pay something like $5-$7 a month extra in the various packages.

I also don't need the Disney Channels but I'm sure it's a significant number in the package cost already.

Whatever Dish agrees to in this dispute will set the tone for future negotiations with NBCU, Time Warner, etc. for the other groups of cable channels. Then will come the local/network negotiations where we know the networks are asking for an extra buck or two along with whatever their affiliates want.

I predict that packages will go up $10-$15 a month or an average of 30% over a very few years. Some will, of course, bitch about Dish or DirecTV or Cox Cable or FIOS. The rest of us will know where to place the blame - at Congress for not reigning in the media conglomerate greed and ourselves for not voting our personal interests.

Leave them off, Charlie, unless you can get an agreement for 10¢ a channel which you should list in detail on the bill along with an email address for Disney Inc.

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#13 OFFLINE   0pusX

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:57 PM

Its funny how people say "Good for DISH, take a stand, I dont care about those channels anyways" well what if they channels you and your family watched were taken off, would you be singing the same tune then?

#14 OFFLINE   erosroadie

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:14 PM

Its funny how people say "Good for DISH, take a stand, I dont care about those channels anyways" well what if they channels you and your family watched were taken off, would you be singing the same tune then?


Been there, done that with Versus and D*. Not the same impact obviously as ESPN HD feeds being dropped. Feel sorry for the World Cup fans now watching games in SD...:eek2:

#15 OFFLINE   Conway

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:20 PM

we still have the SD channels of them.. The HD channels will be back soon im sure. I'v seen disputes with dish come to a close rather quickly.
Bring On More HD!

#16 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:23 PM

Been there, done that with Versus and D*. Not the same impact obviously as ESPN HD feeds being dropped. Feel sorry for the World Cup fans now watching games in SD...:eek2:


It's not ESPN HD or ESPN2 HD....yet. Only Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family, and ESPNews are affected.
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#17 OFFLINE   PRIME1

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:27 PM

If you have the HD Absolute package, you don't have them at all right now. What's worse is I just called tech support and they were not even aware of the problem. They had me reset my receiver to try to fix the issue. While that was coming back up I decided to check here, and then I informed her of the problem!
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#18 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 01:37 PM

I just discovered the missing channels and called DISH. This is absolutely ridiculous. I'm paying the same as I was paying last month for DISH but suddenly they can't afford to offer these channels in HD. Come on, Charlie.


Did I miss your post singing Dish's praises all the times they've added HD channels and not raised your bill? After all fair's fair here. Now really being fair this is a carriage dispute, happens regularly, company that owns the channels wants more $$$, Dish understandably doesn't want to pay more. As always they'll hash something out sooner or later.


"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." - Douglas Adams

"Who would rule a nation when he could have easier work, such as carrying water uphill in a sieve?" - Robert Jordan


#19 OFFLINE   JWKessler

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:27 PM

I realize that ESPN - and Disney - are important channels for many Dish customers. However, not everyone is a sports fan or has kids. So why should we be forced to pay higher monthly fees to ESPN or Disney for expensive channels we will NEVER watch?

Perhaps a separate package containing these "semi-premium" channels could be created. People who really wanted ESPN or Disney could pay for the privilege, giving the rest of us a break. I see it a bit like the Platinum package. You have the option to pay a bit more for these channels if you want them, or if you don't care about them you can chose not to subscribe.

I remember when I subscribed to Bell ExpressVU they had named packages like Basics, News, Sports, Kids, Music, Entertainment, Learning etc and grouped several related channels into each package. When you subscribed you could pick the number of packages you wanted, then chose packages until you hit your limit. It seemed like a smart way to handle the situation that was much more fair than what we have.

#20 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:47 PM

First of all, ESPHD seems to be on right now, though DisneyHD and ABCFamilyHD aren't.

Its funny how people say "Good for DISH, take a stand, I dont care about those channels anyways" well what if they channels you and your family watched were taken off, would you be singing the same tune then?

Absolutely! We watch a lot on NBCU and TimeWarner cable channels and I'd be right there glaring at them with Dish if I could be at the table.

And I would be particularly mad at Disney because I have been watching the World Cup on ESPN. Talk about blackmail. Viva Univision HD!

Oh, and I'm waiting for the day when the various media giant groups can be purchased in separate packages so we can begin to see what we're paying these companies.

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#21 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:26 PM

I think even Disney knows it would be a mistake for them to pull their main ESPN channels as they are the "bad guy" in this scenario since they are the ones cutting the feed to Dish.

Meanwhile... anyone who thinks that dropping ESPN channels would result in your bill dropping is sorely mistaken. There is virtually no precedent that says if channels are "lost" forever that a package tier would drop in price.

Frankly, I thought this is where we were a couple of years ago... channel providers wanting more money for their HD feeds than their SD feeds... so I'm surprised that this has only come through with the suit from Disney/ESPN here.

You and I might think HD should come with the SD feed... but the channel providers did expend extra money to get those feeds started... and they know the public wants them... so I'm not surprised they are asking for more money.

I hope this gets resolved before it becomes even nastier... but it does seem to address why Dish still hasn't had ESPNUHD.

It might also explain why DirecTV didn't get ESPNUHD until very recently... maybe DirecTV was waiting as well, but just they decided to pay up instead of fight it like Dish usually does.

I'm not naive, though... "we want to keep our prices down to our customers" sounds a lot like "do it for the children" and we all know that when people say things like that... it's never the driving force behind the fight.

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#22 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:37 PM

I think even Disney knows it would be a mistake for them to pull their main ESPN channels as they are the "bad guy" in this scenario since they are the ones cutting the feed to Dish.


Why is Disney the 'bad guy"?

What if you owned a house and you were leasing it to someone. Before the lease came up for renewal you looked at your costs to own that house and what profit you wanted to make and sent the increase to your tenant a couple months before. The tenant wasn't happy with that increase and proposed a lower amount. This continued going back and forth right up to the end date for the lease, but you like this tenant and would like to keep them so you say they can stay there for a while and continue to negotiate. Months go by and you're still not coming to an agreement and you realize that your tenant has nothing to lose by being stedfast, he's still in your home and isn't paying your increase. So how long would you let them stay there before you pull the plug and kick them out?

And while I don't like price increases as much as anyone it's a fact of life. But the cost for everything that companies use, from utilities to salaries (at least for those Hollywood folks and corporate exec's) also keeps going up and someone has to pay for it.

Just my two cents.

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#23 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:39 PM

I think even Disney knows it would be a mistake for them to pull their main ESPN channels as they are the "bad guy" in this scenario since they are the ones cutting the feed to Dish.

The dispute may not include ESPNs main channels. Pulling channels is leverage. I can't imagine any company not using the fullest leverage possible.

Meanwhile... anyone who thinks that dropping ESPN channels would result in your bill dropping is sorely mistaken. There is virtually no precedent that says if channels are "lost" forever that a package tier would drop in price.

We've lost four of the 71 channels in HD 250 Free, four of the 54 in HD 200 Free, three of the 31 in HD 120 Free.
We should demand a discount on our HD packages.

People with HD 120 Free should get 10% off of their $0 per month! :eek2:

#24 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:49 PM

Well, point-of-view is everything. From Reuters in May:

The Walt Disney Co posted a 26 percent earnings drop on Tuesday as the global downturn ate into ad sales and consumer spending, but company executives said the worst may be over for its key media networks and theme parks businesses....

A relatively strong showing at its cable operations, especially the ESPN sports network, ABC Family Channel and Disney Channel, and a better-than-expected 10 cents per share of restructuring charges helped the company to an earnings beat.

I guess I understand a desire to milk the cable operations, but when I read things like the following, I can't help but judge the media conglomerate as a "not very good" guy in the negotiations:

Iger also said the company was "optimistic" that an agreement would be reached with the Hong Kong government to expand the underperforming Hong Kong theme park, and that the proposed Shanghai park was awaiting approval from China's central government.

Sorry, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to pay an extra buck a month for ESPN/Disney/Family HD because they screwed the pooch with a Hong Kong theme park.

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#25 OFFLINE   l8er

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:55 PM

.... Perhaps a separate package containing these "semi-premium" channels could be created. People who really wanted ESPN or Disney could pay for the privilege, giving the rest of us a break. ....

Will likely never happen. Many of the providers dictate where (what level) they want their channels so they can count as many possible victims, er, subscribers as possible for their advertisers. (Which affects the rates they inflate for, er, charge advertisers.)
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