"Groundbreaking Long-term, Wide-ranging" Deal Between Disney, Dish Network

By Gary Kim March 04, 2014

The Walt Disney Company and Dish Network Corp. announced a programming contract they said was “groundbreaking, long-term, and wide-ranging.”

The deal provides Dish Network customers with access to Disney content across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and connected devices, on an over the top basis.

The deal is the first by a major network enabling widespread streaming access, and includes on-demand content from ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, Watch ESPN, Watch Disney, Watch ABC Family, and Watch ABC services.

The deal also ends all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over the Dish “AutoHop” ad-skipping feature.

As part of the programming contract, Dish will disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the three-day ratings window. In return, Dish agreed to carry Disney Junior, Fusion, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, as well as Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC ESPN Network upon its launch.

Dish also will launch ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family in high definition, while ESPN Classic will be reintroduced as a video-on-demand channel.

The big question is what other major networks might do. As always is the case, the parties trade value: Dish giving up ad skipping and adding more Disney channels, while Disney grants, for the first time, widespread streaming rights.

Disney generally is considered the major network most supportive of on-demand and streaming access, so the fact that Disney moved first is not a surprise. The other networks have varying levels of comfort with streaming, but might now have to respond, at some point.

It will not be an easy decision for most of the major networks. But Dish has some cards to play. Few of the broadcast networks will want to cede ABC an advantage in ad viewership.

That will happen, in prime time, if ABC remains the sole broadcast network whose ads are not automatically skipped when prime time broadcast content is automatically stored by the Hopper box.

Dish, in turn, is just one of the major linear video content distributors, and the other major distributors do not have the "stick" of ad skipping to bargain away as a chip. Nor is it clear whether, or how much, Dish might be paying ABC for streaming rights.

Video distributors have argued that their current contracts should include streaming rights, while content providers logically resist, and insist streaming rights must be negotiated separately.

On the other hand, the established model is that video distributors agree to add new channels to their lineups in return for carriage rights to the "must have" channels offered by a network.

To be sure, the Dish deal with Disney does not address the issue of access to Disney content without the purchase of a linear video subscription. 

Still, the deal is a landmark, one more step in the direction of streaming delivery. 




Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More

3 Ways to Improve Your VR Projects

By: Ellie Martin    1/4/2018

There is no denying that VR is here and will most likely only increase in velocity as a terminal speed is yet to be even hypothesized. That is why it …

Read More

Alphabet to See Schmidt Step Down

By: Maurice Nagle    12/21/2017

In 2001, Google brought Eric Schmidt on board as CEO. To 10 years later become executive chairman, and continue to serve in this capacity through rest…

Read More