ESPN vs. DIRECTV: They Do Have a Deal

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AT&T and Disney have finally acknowledged that they have reached a carriage agreement ‘in principle’ that will prevent Disney-owned channels such as ESPN from being blacked out on AT&T-owned TV services such as DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now.

The initial dispute between the companies became known on September 9 when ESPN suddenly began running viewer warnings during its Monday Night Football broadcast.

The alert, which could only be seen in DIRECTV homes, said subscribers to the satellite TV service could soon lose ESPN unless AT&T signed a new carriage agreement with Disney.

The blackout would have affected other Disney channels such as The Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Freeform, and ABC in select markets.

But a settlement has been expected since September 15 when Disney removed the viewer alert from the ESPN signal that is distributed to DIRECTV homes. However, the companies would not confirm they had reached a new agreement until two days ago.

— Phillip Swann

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