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HD carriage dispute w/ ABC/ESPN/Disney


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417 replies to this topic

#101 OFFLINE   bnborg

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:10 PM

Is Disney SD still available? I do not see 172 listed at all in my program guide.


It's still on mine. I have 172, 173, and 174 (SD only).
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#102 OFFLINE   brant

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:17 PM

Problem is, lots of people still have tube TV's that just keep RIGHT on going.
Those people see no reason to buy more TV's when they already have working TV's.


yeh i've got a 27" magnavox that my grandma gave me for Christmas in 1988 that's still going.

Its had to be repaired a couple of times from lightening damage but the picture is still great. Could've bought a new one for what it cost to fix, but it has sentimental value.

The tv in my kids room is the one my wife had in college that she was given by her parents; its from about 1980 and never had an issue. Has the manual dials for VHF and UHF tuning.

#103 OFFLINE   laqbn

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:28 PM

We are not getting any version of the disney channels.

#104 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:50 AM

FYI -- If like me you lock out the SD versions of channels to only HD shows in the guide or can be tuned, you must unlock the SD versions of the lost ABC channels before you can see them.

#105 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:00 PM

SD versions of Disney, etc. are not included with HD Absolute, so we do without for a while.
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#106 OFFLINE   Geordon

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 10:28 PM

I have Turbo HD Silver, aka America's Silver. As pointed out by others, DISE and DISW SD are listed as "not-subscribed", DISXD is only available in SD. The wife and kid will love this.:nono2:

#107 OFFLINE   Tsi2quick

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:20 AM

Dish should step up and give those with packages such as Absolute the SD channel in the meantime while they work out the contracts, or reduce our bill.

Those are channels that get watched at our house a LOT.

#108 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:50 AM

Or you can change to a subscription plan that has the SD versions in the meantime.
(why does everyone think Dish must do something ?)
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#109 OFFLINE   Dave

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:53 PM

I think they (DISH) should just take all the Disney channels off and put up a message on the Disney channels with a Tele and e-mail addess for Disney, and for you as a customer to call Disney and complain about there high cost for your kids to watch there HD channel. If you have 14 million+ calling then you have to react to your public. The object is to keep your bill lower. Not give extra money to Disney because there theme parks cost to much for visitors to visit and ask a TV subscriber to make up the difference.

#110 OFFLINE   Tsi2quick

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 02:39 PM

Or you can change to a subscription plan that has the SD versions in the meantime.
(why does everyone think Dish must do something ?)


Well I can tell you what Dish is doing in the meantime, and that's charging me for channels I do not get. Is that fair?

To be fair to existing customers that are paying for these channels but not getting them, wouldn't it make sense to either offer SD versions in the meantime or reduce the bill? Why must the customer always be the one that suffers? Dish is not the "victim" here I assure you.

#111 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 04:47 PM

I think they (DISH) should just take all the Disney channels off and put up a message on the Disney channels with a Tele and e-mail addess for Disney, and for you as a customer to call Disney and complain about there high cost for your kids to watch there HD channel. If you have 14 million+ calling then you have to react to your public.

DISH has a contract to deliver the SD channels to the "14 million". Most of them could not care less about the HD channels - having them "call Disney" would just give them the response to "call DISH - we're not stopping your reception of the SD channel, DISH is."

Well I can tell you what Dish is doing in the meantime, and that's charging me for channels I do not get. Is that fair?

DISH charges you specifically for these channels? Odd. Most subscribers got them as part of a package containing dozens of channels.

#112 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:23 PM

I guess I'm really puzzling over the nature of this dispute. So the precedent to be set here is that the signal carrier pays for the SD signal and separately for the HD signal. So soon we will have to pay double for our packages?

If that happens, I'll never watch a Disney-owned channel again, including the local ABC affiliate.

EDIT: OK, I guess that is the case. From MediaPost:

Disney said Dish never contracted with it to run those channels. In a statement, Disney said: "The recent New York State Court ruling confirms our position that Dish Network is not entitled to carry ABC Family HD, Disney Channel HD, Disney XD HD and ESPNews HD without paying compensation."

In March 2010, a New York court ruled that Dish owes Disney approximately $65 million under a cable network affiliation agreement, which Dish is currently appealing. Dish carries standard-definition versions of the channels in question, as well as other Disney HD channels, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD.

...Last year, Dish sued Disney over what it believed were different carriage rates it received, versus the deals that DirecTV and Comcast inked for similar Disney channels.

So as far as Disney is concerned Disney and Disney HD are different channels. Expanding their theory then, my ABC affiliate has two channels - KGO 7 and KGO 7 HD. And DirecTV and Comcast have already sold their subscribers down the river to this abominable theory?

Edited by phrelin, 27 June 2010 - 05:39 PM.

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#113 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:51 AM

I guess I'm really puzzling over the nature of this dispute. So the precedent to be set here is that the signal carrier pays for the SD signal and separately for the HD signal. So soon we will have to pay double for our packages?

I'd puzzle over the nature of the dispute, just because of this...

On January 30, 2008, we filed a lawsuit against ESPN, Inc., ESPN Classic, Inc., ABC Cable Networks Group, Soapnet L.L.C., and International Family Entertainment (collectively “ESPN”) for breach of contract in New York State Supreme Court. Our complaint alleges that ESPN failed to provide us with certain high-definition feeds of the Disney Channel, ESPN News, Toon, and ABC Family.

This was in Dish Network's 10-K from Q1 2009. Then...

ESPN asserted a counterclaim, and then filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that we owed approximately $35 million under the applicable affiliation agreements.

So, let's read between the lines:

1) Dish Network sued BEFORE they ever provided any of the HD channels controlled by Disney.
2) Dish Network started carriage of these channels in May 2008. Obviously, there wasn't a new agreement hammered out as evidenced by the court case.
3) Disney claimed they were owed money for carriage of those channels under the current affiliation agreement.
4) Disney won.

So as far as Disney is concerned Disney and Disney HD are different channels. Expanding their theory then, my ABC affiliate has two channels - KGO 7 and KGO 7 HD. And DirecTV and Comcast have already sold their subscribers down the river to this abominable theory?

As a reminder, Dish Network (and most of the other multichannel distributors) charge extra for HD, so why shouldn't Disney charge extra? I'll throw this thread in as a reminder that Dish Network obviously pays extra for HD feeds.

#114 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:29 AM

All the details of the case are noted in the attached order.

Attached Files



#115 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

I guess I'm really puzzling over the nature of this dispute. So the precedent to be set here is that the signal carrier pays for the SD signal and separately for the HD signal. So soon we will have to pay double for our packages?

If that happens, I'll never watch a Disney-owned channel again, including the local ABC affiliate.

EDIT: OK, I guess that is the case. From MediaPost: So as far as Disney is concerned Disney and Disney HD are different channels. Expanding their theory then, my ABC affiliate has two channels - KGO 7 and KGO 7 HD. And DirecTV and Comcast have already sold their subscribers down the river to this abominable theory?


KGO 7 probably has a different contract from Disney.

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#116 OFFLINE   RasputinAXP

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:35 AM

I'll throw this thread in as a reminder that Dish Network obviously pays extra for HD feeds.


Only when they're forced to; the Sinclair holdout is different in my eyes, as is any local net HD dispute.

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#117 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:10 PM

As a reminder, Dish Network (and most of the other multichannel distributors) charge extra for HD, so why shouldn't Disney charge extra? I'll throw this thread in as a reminder that Dish Network obviously pays extra for HD feeds.

Actually, Dish doesn't charge extra for HD as of June 3.

Now that I read the PDF James provided, I feel like I stepped into the Magic Kingdom. In the background discussion, the ruling states:

Defendants license programming networks, consisting of standard definition and high definition programming, to distributors such as EchoStar.

That, of course, is not a correct statement. The truth apparently is "Defendants license networks, consisting of exactly the same programming transmitted in standard definition and high definition, to distributors such as EchoStar."

And so the truth of the matter is that Disney, and presumably all the other media conglomerates, actually want to surcharge the price they are charging for their programming if it is available on a carrier in SD? After all, new programming will be produced for HD and "downreszed" for SD.

It is as if in 1958 the networks started charging advertisers for transmitting color commercials in black and white.

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#118 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:40 PM

Most networks are producing separate HD and SD feeds. Some just centercrop to get the SD, but most I've looked at in both formats at least do different overlays on their HD feed.

Plus there is an additional higher cost for distributing a HD feed (more bits on a bird somewhere). The channels don't have zero costs in having a HD feed.

#119 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:14 PM

Most networks are producing separate HD and SD feeds. Some just centercrop to get the SD, but most I've looked at in both formats at least do different overlays on their HD feed.

Plus there is an additional higher cost for distributing a HD feed (more bits on a bird somewhere). The channels don't have zero costs in having a HD feed.

That's true. They didn't have zero costs back in '58 when they went to color. It isn't that I think they have zero costs, it is that I don't see the point of separating contract provisions.

HD is TV unless the media conglomerates decide it's something different. What's happening looks a lot like we're going to have "first class and coach" in the TV business.

If the carriers were to think about how Disney's scheme could be incorporated into their business model, we could relatively soon find ourselves looking at a future with two classes of TV. One would be digital SD, the other would be digital HD, the latter perhaps with 3D.

The plebian class would pay $65± a month for most cable channels in SD. The patrician class would pay $130 a month for most cable channels in HD including some in 3D. HBO etc. would still be available for $12.50 in SD or $25 in HD 3D. The equivalent to the AEP in HD (with 3D when available) would be something like $269.99.

Obviously, this is just speculative thought, but I don't like the idea behind a separate contract provision for HD.

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#120 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 03:12 PM

Obviously, this is just speculative thought, but I don't like the idea behind a separate contract provision for HD.

Okay, but...

So as far as Disney is concerned Disney and Disney HD are different channels. Expanding their theory then, my ABC affiliate has two channels - KGO 7 and KGO 7 HD. And DirecTV and Comcast have already sold their subscribers down the river to this abominable theory?

So what exactly did Dish Network do?

The contractual obligation at issue arises out of the following three license agreements: (1) a Distribution License Agreement, dated as of September 15, 2005 (the "ESPN Agreement"), by which ESPN licensed to EchoStar six standard definition networks (the "SD Networks") and two high definition networks (the HD Networks);

The six SD Networks that ESPN licensed to EchoStar under the EchoStar Agreement are: "ESPN", "ESPN2", "ESPNEWS", "ESPNU", "ESPN Classic," and "ESPN Deportes,", and the two HD Networks are "ESPN-HD" and "ESPN2-HD".

So Dish Network signed an agreement with ESPN in 2005 where they'd have to pay for HD feeds, and the complaint is that, "DirecTV and Comcast have already sold their subscribers down the river to this abominable theory?" It appears to me Dish Network did it, too, and it has taken four-plus years for anyone to realize it.

#121 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:18 PM

Yes and no. ESPN has always been special. Cable and satellite have paid a premium for it for years.

IMHO no one should sign an agreement that combines ESPN channels with any other channel, but apparently it didn't occur to Charlie that he'd be looking at Disney demanding that ABC Family HD is a different channel from ABC Family. In 2005 there was no Disney HD. It began broadcasting on March 19, 2008. ABC Family HD launched around that time also.

In the next go around in negotiations with everyone look for News Corp to refer to FX HD as a separate channel from FX, NBCU to refer to USA HD as a separate channel from USA, etc.

Netflix will look a whole lot better in the future if they can hold their prices down.

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#122 OFFLINE   david_jr

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:42 PM

I've got an idea for a new rule: No content provider can charge extra for any HD channel that does not broadcast 100% HD programming. Bars on the sides don't count, even if they say ESPN in them.

#123 OFFLINE   CoolGui

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:50 PM

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.


I am not really complaining about the dispute myself, yet... but what is this "not raised your bill".... it gets raised pretty much every year, if you aren't getting that higher bill then you must be special! :)

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#124 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 07:10 PM

That's true. They didn't have zero costs back in '58 when they went to color. It isn't that I think they have zero costs, it is that I don't see the point of separating contract provisions.

The push for color isn't the same as the push for HD. Color was impressive ... so was adding stereo and sap. Perhaps impressive enough for a channel to charge more for it's carriage. But in 1958? Comparing distribution in 1958 to today is foolish.

HD is TV unless the media conglomerates decide it's something different. What's happening looks a lot like we're going to have "first class and coach" in the TV business.

Already there ... except the HD class isn't paying double as you suggested in your post.

There is value added with the provision of the HD feed. Why shouldn't the providers pass on the cost of that added value?

At least most providers are giving a choice. Or at least they have ... I expect the next round of contract renewals to be "you will pay for and carry our HD signal or you won't get the SD version". That may be happening with WE AMC IFC and Fuse. As SD contracts expire leveraging required HD distribution is logical.

#125 OFFLINE   deepen10

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 07:40 PM

THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I am FURIOUS RIGHT NOW!

ESPNNEWS HD was there last night, i came this morning and its gone? WTF?

Just waiting for my contract to end in October, so I can leave DISH and their disgraceful service.. I'm either getting FIOS or switching back to cable or maybe even DirecTV




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