College football fans subscribed to Dish Network woke up on Saturday morning and were hit with devastating news. Just before 3:00 AM EST, Dish announced its contract with Disney had expired, meaning subscribers would not be able to watch ESPN, ESPN 2, the SEC Network, and other Disney-owned channels.
Losing out on those channels meant losing out on watching the majority of the best college football games on Saturday. Dish network subscribers had no way to watch the Kentucky – Ole Miss thriller to start the day or Georgia come from behind to beat Missouri late Saturday night, for example.
ESPN pinned the blame on Dish for not coming to a fair agreement.
“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,” a statement from ESPN read.
Dish, of course, pointed the finger at Disney.
“Disney, like many other channel owners, knowingly use this contract renewal time to try and increase the amount of money cable and satellite TV companies pay for their programming,” a statement from Dish Network read.
Dish Network Finally Comes To Terms With Disney, ESPN
After ruining college football Saturday for all Dish subscribers, the dispute dragged through Sunday as well.
Dish customers woke up to great news on Monday, however, as the two sides have come to an agreement.
“We are pleased to announce that all your Disney and ESPN channels have been restored. Thank you for your patience and support,” Dish wrote on Twitter.
At least subscribers will be able to watch ‘Monday Night Football’ with the 49ers hosting the Rams.
Contract disputes between providers and companies happen often, even with cord-cutting companies like YouTube TV, but having it come to a head on college football Saturday is truly the worst-case scenario.