Texas residents may be aware of the controversy surrounding ESPN programming. Some people in other parts of the country may not be able to watch ABC and ESPN regardless of their opinions if a contract dispute is not settled by Sept. 30. Disney is currently in talks with Altice USA on a contract extension in which Disney wants a massive fee increase. Altice USA is a French company that bought the Cablevision systems in the tri-state New York area.
If there is no contract after Sept. 30, it is possible that channels such as ABC and ESPN could be blacked out. However, it is also possible that the channels remain on the air in those markets even if no deal is reached by the time the contract expires. That depends on the relationship between the two sides, and there have been times when stations have been blacked out because of contract disputes.
Both sides have said that they are hopeful that a deal can be reached despite the fact that they are not close on terms. Altice says that rising fees are leading to higher cable bills in a time when viewership is declining and that it wants to keep costs as low as possible for customers. Disney has also caused an uproar over its announcement to create its own platforms for movie and sports content.
There may be many ways to resolve contract disputes. Ideally, companies may want to settle their contract issues through negotiation as opposed to litigation. This may help to save time, money and relationships. However, if necessary, an attorney can advocate for a company in the courtroom if negotiations prove to be fruitless.