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Dish welcomes the return of Disney, ESPN channels

Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer joins the Live show to discuss the return of Disney and ESPN channels to cable provider Dish.

Video Transcript


- Well, if you're a college football fan and a Dish customer, you probably had a very frustrating Saturday. A dispute over carriage rights led the provider to suddenly cut off all Disney channels, including ESPN. Yahoo Finance's Josh Shafer joins us.

ESPN getting cut off on college football Saturday?

JOSH SCHAFER: ESPN on collage football Saturday Geico. And Disney too on a big weekend. It's the first weekend of October. A lot of people turn to Disney Channel on that weekend and maybe watch your first Halloween movie. The new Hocus Pocus. The Hocus Pocus. [INAUDIBLE]

- You're right. You're right, yes.

JOSH SCHAFER: You can see the all encompassing thing. I know. I'm a sports fan, and we talk a lot about college football. But Disney as well. And so what happened here was a contract wasn't signed. They didn't sign an extension. So on October 1, right at midnight, without telling anyone, Dish Network and Sling TV did not have access to Disney anymore.

And so it got cut off. And then I actually want to read to you right now what Disney said because this did get resolved last night. So this is what Disney told us about what's going on. They said, quote, "we have reached a handshake agreement with Dish/Sling TV, which properly reflects fair market value in terms for the Walt Disney company's unparalleled content. As a result, we are pleased to restore a portfolio of networks on a temporary basis while both parties work to finalize a new deal.

So I think that temporary basis is important to highlight here. It does not seem like this is fully settled yet. And now, there were reports that Dish said that they were going to have to pay an additional billion dollars to continue this deal, and that was kind of the sticking point. I would argue for Dish Network, a stock that has not done well and really a company that only has 10 million subscribers, you kind of need ESPN. So they need to figure that out right. That's what people are coming for.

- Well, I was going to say, this shows you-- I mean, I just saw social blow up in the morning on Saturday because of this. This shows you why people are still keeping the cord, if that's even the way to describe the Dish, right?

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, well because--

- Sports is in.

JOSH SCHAFER: I think you have Sling TV too, right, which has about 2 million subscribers. So I think there are people here that aren't necessarily traditional cable subscribers, but they're using Dish for that. And it's something to keep in mind when you think about companies like a Dish, fuboTV, Roku.

Even if you're a YouTube TV subscriber owned by Google. YouTube had this problem last December with Disney specifically. And so it's important to think about that when you think about these names and kind of, OK, these cable service companies, they really rely so much on Disney and the others to really make their product whole when we talk about cable cutting.

- A big driver of subscriber numbers, for sure. Thanks so much for that, Josh.