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The two companies had until 5 pm ET on December 31, to come to terms before Verizon would stop carrying Disney channels.
The dispute had remained behind closed doors for months but spilled out to the public this week after Disney began running ads on TV. Verizon Fios is trying to renew its carriage agreement with Disney , which owns several television networks, including ESPN.
The current deal expires at the end of If no new deal is reached, the Disney channels could go dark on Fios. Disney was planning a series of ads beginning Wednesday to warn viewers, per Broadcasting and Cable.
The ads focus on the upcoming college football championship playoff games that will appear on ESPN along with an upcoming NFL wild card playoff game and local news.
Verizon Fios released a statement early Wednesday, per Broadcasting and Cable : "We are actively negotiating with Disney to ensure the best deal for our customers. Despite what you may be hearing from Disney , we have been negotiating a renewal agreement to keep their networks, which include those from Disney and ESPN , as well as ABC affiliates in Philadelphia and New York, in our lineup.
Disney is currently proposing that Verizon pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for its programming, despite the fact that many of its key networks are experiencing declining viewership. In addition to the proposed rate increase, Disney is also demanding we include, and pay for, another regional sports channel, the ACC Network, in order to continue bringing you all the other Disney and ESPN networks we do today.
The rising cost of programming is the biggest factor in higher TV bills and we are standing up to networks like Disney , refusing to accept these huge increases. Rest assured, our goal is to reach a fair agreement allowing you to continue to have access to the networks you enjoy today while securing an agreement that is in the best interest of our customers.
Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein njadvancemedia. Follow him on Twitter rosenstein Find NJ.
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