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Disney's networks are back on Dish following a 'handshake agreement'

PATRICK T. FALLON via Getty Images

Disney stations including ABC, ESPN, FX and Disney Channel are back on Dish and Sling TV after the two parties reached a tentative agreement, Deadline has reported. A total of 17 Disney channels disappeared from the services on Friday, October 1st over a carriage disagreement.

"We have reached a handshake agreement with Dish/Sling TV, which properly reflects fair market value and terms for The Walt Disney Company’s... content," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "As a result, we are pleased to restore our portfolio of networks on a temporary basis while both parties work to finalize a new deal."

Dish had accused Disney of holding "viewers hostage for negotiation leverage, claiming that it wanted to include ESPN and ESPN2 into non-sports packages." At the same time, Disney said Dish failed to give it a fair offer to keep ESPN and National Geographic on Dish/Sling TV. "After months of negotiating in good faith, Dish has declined to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our networks," the company told Variety in a statement on Friday.

Last year, Disney channels vanished from YouTube TV in December over a similar dispute, but returned just a day later. Meanwhile, HBO and Cinemax went dark on Dish in 2018, and only reappeared last year (along with HBO Max). As of Q2 2022, Dish and Sling TV had around 10 million US subscribers combined, according to Statista.