I wouldn't be surprised if D* does let ESPN pull it's channels,like they did with Comcast/VS last year. The last MNF game is Dec 26,so there should be no conflict with the NFL if ESPN channels are pulled after this season and before the next NFL season starts.
I'm sure D* has good idea how many subs they might lose if ESPN pulls it's channels over a fight for a new deal. They also learned some lessons from the VS fight on how to use the media to win the PR fight .
Just remember you're talking Disney here if ESPN is pulled then all the other associated channels go with it. Kids everywhere would riot.