Reports indicate that the shares of Walt Disney (DIS) and Verizon Communications (VZ) surged after the two corporations inked a new programming deal to prevent the blackout of ESPN and other content on the FiOS TV service of Verizon. Disney had gained 2.2 percent to close at 109.65 on the stock market while Verizon rose 1.7 percent to 56.22 on the same day.
Apparently, Verizon and Disney recently announced a contract renewal which would keep Disney cable channels as well as broadcast on the FiOS TV service. A year earlier, Verizon had around 4.65 million customers on its FiOS TV compared to 4.5 million as of September 30, 2018.
Jennifer Fritzsche, a Wells Fargo analyst, mentioned that Verizon should not be expected to be as kind as the other content agreements coming up for renewal, even though the power of Disney brand and ESPN was most likely the deciding factor for reaching an agreement.
Fios customers would have seemingly lost access to Disney channels, if the two companies had failed in reaching a new carriage deal. Furthermore, access to major sporting events would have also been taken away from the football fans using Fios.
Separately, Dish Network (DISH) and AT&T will remain locked in a dispute heading into 2019. WarnerMedia of AT&T had in November accused the U.S. Department of Justice of teaming up with Dish Network Corp over carrying Cinemax and HBO in a high profile dispute.
Further from the reports, WarnerMedia’s HBO had gone dark on the satellite television service of Dish after a disagreement over a new distribution deal. WarnerMedia stated that the company had offered extending the contract to continue discussions for a new deal, however Dish executives had declined to further negotiate.
President and Chief Revenue Officer of HBO, Simon Sutton, had said in a statement that the proposals and actions of Dish made it clear that the company did not intend to seriously negotiate an agreement.