Walt Disney and satellite TV provider Dish Network agreed to a short-term extension of their current distribution deal, keeping Disney-owned channels on the air while the pair seek to bridge differences over carriage terms.
The companies are discussing a deal for Dish to continue carrying programming including sports network ESPN, the Disney Channel and ABC Family, according to a joint statement. They didn't say how long the contract extension would last, nor provide any other details on their discussions.
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has previously complained about the rising cost of sports programming. ESPN is the most expensive TV network, costing pay TV operators about $5.54 on average per subscriber each month, according to research firm SNL Kagan. Disney says it is getting paid for the value ESPN offers.
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On an Aug. 1 conference call with analysts, Ergen said he was optimistic his company would reach a deal with Disney, but also threatened to drop the channels if both sides couldn't come to terms.