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Can Dish and Disney settle their contract dispute in time?

It is possible that Dish Network and Disney could end up in the same predicament as CBS and Time Warner were in recently. Their contract is up on Sept. 30, and without a resolution to their contract dispute, there could be another blackout. The 14 million Dish Network subscribers, many of whom live here in Georgia, may be hoping the dispute ends soon.

Disney owns several networks including the popular sports network, ESPN. Now that the NFL and college football seasons have begun and baseball playoffs are coming soon, Dish Network could receive some unhappy comments from subscribers, or even lose subscribers, if there is a blackout. Back in August, a Dish spokesperson said that neither Dish nor Disney would go out of business without the other.

It would be interesting to know how negotiations are progressing now that the deadline is looming. Millions of Dish Network subscribers could wake up on Oct. 1 to find out just how many channels on Dish belong to Disney. A blackout may not be so bad for sports fans during the week, but when the weekend arrives, people may begin to grumble. Disney has negotiated several contracts in recent years, but it has been said that the executives at Dish Network will provide Disney with "spirited" negotiations.

Georgia readers may already know that the contract dispute not only has to do with how much Dish will pay Disney for its content, but also whether Dish can offer at least some of that content to its subscribers that watch on their mobile devices. In the end, it is hoped that there won't be a blackout, but the prospects don't look good. It remains to be seen how long a blackout will last if it does come to that. Businesses which go through contract disputes like this one would be well advised to be sure they fully understand the agreements they have signed in order to protect their rights.

Source: dailynews.com, Dish-Disney TV contract dispute has many customers on edge, Gregory J. Wilcox, Sept. 21, 2013

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