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Ergen Wants Disney Deal To Be 'Best'

Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen said that the aim of the satellite giant’s continuing carriage negotiations with The Walt Disney Co. is to make that relationship one of Dish’s best, and that could include having the content giant drop its ongoing litigation concerning the AutoHop ad-skipping digital video recorder service.

Dish’s Disney carriage deal expired on Sept. 30 but the two have been negotiating under a short-term extension agreement ever since. Last week, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that negotiations were moving ahead but that issues involving technology were proving more complicated than first expected.

In a conference call with analysts to discuss third quarter results, Ergen said the talks are ongoing. And without revealing too many details, he said the roadblocks are consistent with other deals – economic and fee related – as well as issues around rights.

Ergen said that in the past, Disney’s relationship with Dish had not been the best – which he said was mostly his fault. But he would like to change that with this round of talks.

Ergen said he is prepared to go either way with Disney, including not having a relationship at all, which he added would have some short term pain but could have a longer-term benefit.

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