The companies said today that they have reached a short-term extension of their carriage contract to keep Disney‘s channels on Dish Network‘s systems. The sides say talks will continue on a contract first inked in 2005 and set to expire at the end of the month. At stake is the continued carriage of Disney networks including ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family and ABC-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. No other details were announced. The deal comes less than a month after Time Warner Cable and CBS settled their retrans dispute that cost TWC customers 32 days of CBS programming. That impasse was widely believed to be broken by the start of the lucrative NFL season, so it’s notable that ESPN has Monday Night Football in its corner. But Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has been grumbling for months about the cost of sports rights and said in February that the loss of revenue from Dish’s 14.1M subscribers “would be a long-term problem for Disney”. Last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger defended ESPN’s price increases, attributing the growing complaints about sports costs to “a rough economy over the last few years”. Another wrinkle in the ABC-Dish standoff: The network is suing the satcaster over its ad-skipping Hopper DVR.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.