The Disney Channel, ESPN and a number of other channels have now returned to Sling TV, albeit on a temporary basis for now. This follows a brief dispute between Sling and Disney which saw all of the Disney-owned channels removed from Sling TV’s lineup. Although both Sling Blue and Sling Orange subscribers were affected, Sling Orange was the more impacted, due to the plan’s dependence on ESPN.
The dispute was understood to be the result of Dish (Sling’s parent company) and Disney failing to agree new carriage terms, with both Dish and Sling suggesting that Disney was demanding unfair prices for the channels. Following the removal of the channels at midnight on October 1st, Sling has now confirmed that they have all been restored. Shared on the Sling Promise website, as well as the service’s various social media channels, the message was short and to the point:
“All of your Disney & ESPN channels have been restored!Sling
We sincerely apologize for your interruption in programming. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Dish also posted the same message for its customers, confirming that they have also now regained access to the removed channels.
Soon after the dispute began, Sling TV found itself dealing with a major situation due to its Sling Orange plan being highly reliant on the dropped channels. This not only resulted in Sling temporarily disabling Sling Orange signups, but also unlocking all of the Sling Blue channels for Sling Orange subscribers. With the channels having now returned, so has the Sling Orange plan. For those considering Sling TV, it is once again possible to sign up to Sling Orange.
It is worth noting that the return of the channels is currently only considered a temporary solution. In a statement (via Deadline), Disney explains that only a “handshake agreement” has been made so far and that the channels have been restored on a temporary basis. However, Disney does expect a deal to be finalized between the two and at “fair market value.”