LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Company and Dish Network said Monday they've agreed to a new carriage deal that eliminates an ad-skipping feature in Dish's digital recorder and grants the satellite TV service provider new streaming rights.
The companies have been in litigation over Dish's ad-skipping technology, called AutoHop, that was available in Dish's Hopper with Slingbox. Hopper is a feature that allows Dish subscribers to watch live TV and DVR recordings online or through an app.
Hopper's PrimeTime Anytime records the primetime content of the four major broadcast networks. But the networks, which rely on advertising revenues, have opposed the ad-skipping feature. In the deal, Dish and Disney agreed to dismiss their lawsuit and turn off AutoHop for Disney's shows for three days after the show has aired. The feature will be available for other networks' programming.
Disney channels, including Disney, ESPN and ABC, have been airing on Dish's lineup despite the expiration of their carriage contract in September. The carriage contract details the financial and operations terms between the two parties, including the amount of money Dish pays Disney for its channels. ESPN is by far the most popular cable network.
Under the terms of the new deal, Dish also receives several streaming options.
* Dish has the right to offer -- though it didn't commit to offering it -- live-streaming of Disney's channels, including ABC and ESPN, as part of regular Dish subscriptions.
* Dish plans to offer its customers later this year a new feature -- likely through its Dish Anywhere app -- for streaming Disney's content that are currently available through Disney's online channels, including Watch ESPN, Watch Disney, Watch ABC Family and Watch ABC. Dish users will have to authenticate their subscription before using the feature.
* Dish's on-demand video feature will include Disney's content, which is currently missing.
* Dish will make available for the first time several channels, including Disney Junior, Fusion, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater.
* Dish will launch ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family in high definition.