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ESPN, Disney Channel, Freeform, & ABC Locals Could Disappear From DIRECTV & AT&T TV NOW Tonight

Jason Gurwin

Earlier in the week, DIRECTV and AT&T TV NOW customers were greeted with a message that they might lose ESPN, Disney Channel, and Freeform.

Now, according to Disney, channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, Freeform, and ABC owned-and-operated locals will all be dropped if a deal is not reached by midnight tonight. ABC owns local channels in New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Raleigh-Durham NC, and Fresno-Visalia CA.

Full List of Channels

  • ABC O&O Locals
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN Classic
  • ESPNews
  • ESPN3
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • ESPN Bases Loaded
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network
  • The Longhorn Network
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney XD
  • Disney Junior
  • Freeform

In a message on their website:

WABC Channel 7, KABC Channel 7, WTVD ABC 11, KGO ABC 7, KTRK ABC 13, KFSN ABC 30, WLS ABC 7, WPVI ABC 6, the ESPN and Disney networks, and Freeform may soon no longer be available on DIRECTV and AT&T video lineups.

That means DIRECTV and AT&T video customers could miss: local news, Jeopardy, The Good Doctor, the final season of Modern Family and more on ABC; Exclusive Monday Night Football matchups, College Football, and SportsCenter on the ESPN networks; Descendants 3, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Lion Guard, and Puppy Dog Pals on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD; plus, grown-ish, and The Bold Type on Freeform. Tell AT&T to keep these networks in your TV lineup by calling the AT&T customer service line for your area.

AT&T has since responded to us with the following statement:

We’re disappointed to see The Walt Disney Co. put their viewers into the middle of negotiations. We are on the side of consumer choice and value and want to keep each of the local ABC stations and Disney’s national sports and entertainment channels in our AT&T TV customers’ lineups. We hope to avoid any interruption to the services some of our customers care about.

Our goal is always to deliver the content our customers want at a value that also makes sense to them. We’ll continue to fight for that here and appreciate their patience while we work this matter out.”

The latest carriage negotiation comes just six weeks after CBS nationally was dropped in major markets on DirecTV and nationally on DIRECTV NOW (now known as AT&T TV NOW). Prior to that, Nexstar, the largest local affiliate owner, had their channels dropped DirecTV, DIRECTV NOW, and AT&T U-Verse.

While both have since come to a deal, AT&T has been embroiled in content disputes since early July. While it is highly unlikely that Disney would see their channels dropped from DIRECTV, it will probably go down to the wire. In the Spring, the service renegotiated deals with Viacom and A+E, while dropping NFL Network.

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