DISH Network Ditches 4 HD Channels Over Squabble With Disney

DISH Network customers may have noticed that some of their favorite channels no longer seem as high-def as they were a few days ago. That’s because the satellite provider has dropped four Disney-owned channels in a dispute with the Mouse over carriage fees.

The channels pulled from the DISH HD lineup are Disney Channel HD, Disney XD HD, ABC Family HD and ESPNews HD. All still exist on DISH in their standard def format.

Here’s what the satellite company, which recently dropped its fees for HD service explains their side thusly:

DISH Network offers all customers ‘HD Free for Life,’ which is possible because we are committed to negotiating fair contracts that allow us to keep our prices low… That is why we could not agree to the significant fees requested by Disney and ESPN Networks for the HD feeds of Disney East, Disney XD, ESPNews and ABC Family.

This isn’t the first time in recent months that Disney has squared off against a provider. Earlier this year, Disney-owned ABC was briefly pulled off NYC-area cable company Cablevision over a fee dispute.

DISH Network says it is still in talks with Disney about this situation and hopes “to reach a fair resolution.”

DISH Network Drops 4 Disney HD Channels over Carriage Fee Dispute [TV.com]

Thanks to Mike for the tip!

Comments

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  1. Spaceman Bill Leah says:

    Yes, a fair resolution. Which is why I am at home right now watching the MLB Network and Vs….

    Oh.

  2. Daverson says:

    What good is “HD Free For Life” if HD channels keep getting dropped?

  3. red3001 says:

    I’m less 3 channels right now and Dish will not give me the standard def feed unless I “upgrade” my programming. They must think I’m an idiot. If it wasn’t for ESPN, I wouldn’t have paid for TV in my house. unfortunately, I don’t know of any place online that streams at least ESPN and ESPN 2. I would be willing to pay and let Hulu be my supplement. either way, tonight with the wife, we’ll discuss whether or not we want to continue paying for Dish.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      ESPN and ESPN 2 aren’t affected by this in either HD or SD.

      • red3001 says:

        Thats one of my points, they give me the sd bcast of most other channels but not espn news, and won’t give me those feeds unless i “upgrade” with a standard def package.

        • NeverLetMeDown says:

          So, you were getting HD feeds of channels you weren’t entitled to get in SD? If so, that was some sort of configuration error, you were getting channels you weren’t paying for.

  4. frank64 says:

    Of course Disney letting Dish just add the channels for the people who want to pay extra for it would be the best option, and that they don’t do it is why people are dropping cable due to the high prices. Puts cable/satellite between a rock and a hard place.

  5. Nighthawke says:

    I noticed that when my TIVO updated its channel line up. A shame such petty squabbling over a few cents is costing the consumer some fairly decent entertainment.

    Now they shall have to settle for what is on either Discover or SpikeTV.

  6. dg says:

    There’s NO reason why HD should cost more than SD. The switch from analog to digital and the attendant switch to higher def has been going on for years – long enough for the costs of new equipment to be amortized and for the cost of HD equipment to come down in price such that it’s no longer higher than the analog stuff.

    PLUS, don’t forget that broadcasters got free spectrum to replace the analog spectrum they gave up, AND that digital spectrum allows for the transmission of several sub-channels (all complete with advertising).

    At the very least, there’s no reason why the HD versions of the broadcast stations shouldn’t be free. As for the rest of them – it’s a scam. The SD versions, when played through an S-Video or Composite connection (like most TV’s have nowdays) is ‘good enough’. Just like DVD’s played through the same connections are good enough when compared to Blue-Ray….

    I give kudos to Dish (even though I don’t subscribe to them) for standing up to the Mouse and other scam artists who think that their HD content should cost more and for selling it at the same cost as the SD content.

    • brettb says:

      HD can cost more than SD simply because it can – if people are willing to pay for it. (And it can cost more to produce a show in HD.)

      As for the spectrum that *broadcasters* got, that’s hardly a relevant argument when we’re talking about non-over-the-air pay channels.

      Oh, and even the HD version of Hannah Montana looks *way* better than the SD feed. Plus, it’s 16×9. DVD, while not as nifty as Blu-ray is much better than an SD feed both in terms of resolution and aspect ratio. And you mean “component,” not “composite.” Composite is what I used to connect my Apple IIe up to 9-inch Panasonic color monitor in 1983.

      Now I’m pretty pissed off at losing the Disney Channel and Disney XD in HD, but almost everything in your post is nonsense.

    • DieBretter says:

      HD equipment costs a boatload. I know someone that’s a producer. 1 film/studio quality HD camera can cost around 10k. When you watch a show that’s in HD, you’re generally not limited to one vantage. They normally have about 4 cameras or so. After that they have the editing equipment costs, distribution costs, and so forth. HD isn’t exactly free to produce. But, I do agree that it shouldn’t cost more than a SD feed when they’re using the same equipment.

      Now, I’m not sure where you are, but here in Milwaukee, I don’t get ESPN over the air, nor Disney and ABC Family. That’s a moot point.

      There is a HUGE difference in quality between HD and SD material. In the Blu-Ray version of Braveheart, they have some of the DVD material in there interspersed with the HD material and it sticks out like a sore thumb. For what I paid for my equipment, good enough isn’t good enough.

  7. icy_one says:

    They also just jacked up their rates by $2, even if you’re in a contract. Pretty shady.

  8. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I do not watch any of those channels…But…Nice, Disney is quite a Monster to contend with.

  9. Riroon13 says:

    This is why I love/hate my Dish Network. I love they go to bat, so to speak, to keep rates low. I hate that every two-three months they’re in a pissing match with another network.

  10. Tim in Wyoming says:

    Someone needs to stand up to Disney / ABC. They force TV providers to carry too many channels in the low end packages. I could care less about sports and 10 fricken Disney / ABC channels. They should be optional or at least in higher tier plans.

  11. Bix says:

    “Disney XD HD” probably confuses a disturbingly large number of people.

  12. gman863 says:

    I’d like to see the FCC force satellite and cable companies to offer “a la carte” channel options instead of forcing us to subscribe to an all-you-can-eat crap buffet.

    Of the 150(+/-) channels I get on DirecTV, I may have watched around 20 in the past six months. Some of my favorites (such as National Geographic) are only available in the higher priced packages.

    If people want to keep their existing bundles, fine – but why should my rates go up due to Disney (or any other company) jacking up their prices on channels I don’t give a rat’s ass about?

    If “a la carte” channel offerings were mandated, Disney, the NFL, local stations and others who see consumers as cash cows would be forced to compete versus having a guaranteed potential audience. This might make them think twice before demanding more money.

    Do the math on how many channels you REALLY watch. Although your list may be different than mine, here’s an example:

    150 total channels

    Drop the 40 music channels (I can live without Latino Disco and Geriatric Oldies)

    Drop the local stations (yes, they charge for their stations to be on cable/satellite. I can get these free just by hitting the “input” button on the remote to change from satellite to TV)

    I’m single, male, no kids: Disney can shove their channel up Mickey Mouse’s ass. I don’t need Oprah’s new channel, Lifetime’s chick flick channel or cooking channels with food I can neither pronounce nor afford.

    Shopping channels: Cable and satellite providers MAKE money off these! As an example, if you order something off QVC, your cable or satellite company gets 10% of the sale. These are about 20 of the 150 channels I get in my programming package.

    I don’t follow football or baseball. Sorry NFL and MLB. I’m already getting jacked on taxes for the Astros and Texans to have pretty stadiums, quit trying to screw me by making me pay for something I’ll never watch.

    The best part will be when I (and millions of others) teach Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reily and Sarah Palin the meaning of “downsizing”. Suck it, FOX news!

    I’ll keep A&E, Bio, NatGeo, History and the other geeky channels, plus VH1 Classic, CNN and SPEED. Even if this only cut my bill by 30%, I won’t notice losing what I never watch now.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Realistically, you’d see Fox News continue and thrive and Nat Geo (and probably CNN and MSNBC) go down the tubes. Look at the ratings and the cost of production.

      • gman863 says:

        I’m not so sure about that. If you look at the actual viewing ratings (not the number of subscribers), NatGeo, Bio and other geeky channels have a pretty good following – especially since fewer people subscribe to the higher-priced packages required to watch them. People will pay for decent TV (Hell, look at PBS: Their audience is tiny compared to ABC or CBS, but diehard public TV fans open their wallets during fund raising weeks).

        As for FOX news, conservatives will pony up; most moderates and liberals see it as an unfortunate “reality” attempt at copying Comedy Central.

        • gman863 says:

          One more thought: Local stations’ ad revenues are based on ratings and are available free if you have an antenna. If local stations keep charging to include their channels on cable/sat and people decide not to pay extra for them, they may be shooting themselves in the foot when people spend less time watching them.

  13. Levk says:

    Man how greedy can companies get >> well maybe if they showed shows I liked and if I had an HD tv I might care more… but really I do not

  14. EdK says:

    My Comcast service costs a whopping $1.83 more per month than comperable Dish service, and I don’t have to deal with this nonsense.

  15. gilbert_sundevil says:

    I’m on an old package that Dish no longer offers (Dish America Silver, I think). They’ve given me three “solutions”.
    1. Stay on my current package for the remainder of my contract – minus the four channels they’ve dropped, obviously.
    2. Downgrade to a different package (35 lost channels and a few added) for the same price I’m currently paying.
    3. Or upgrade to a package that gives me all my original channels back (plus a few extra) but charge me at least $10 more per month.

    What a deal!