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Disney & Charter Reach Carriage Agreement


The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications have sealed a new carriage agreement, restoring Spectrum subscribers’ access to a host of networks, including ESPN and FX.

At the start of this month, Disney pulled a suite of networks off Charter’s Spectrum. The pay-TV, broadband and telephone operator argued at the time that the “current video ecosystem is broken” and called for a new industry approach to carriage deals.

According to the two companies, their new multi-year distribution agreement “maximizes value for consumers and supports the linear TV experience as the industry continues to evolve.”

A suite of 19 Disney-owned networks will be available as part of the Spectrum lineup with the new deal, including ABC-owned stations, Disney Channel, FX and the National Geographic Channel, in addition to the full ESPN network suite. BabyTV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo will no longer be offered. In the coming months, the Disney+ basic ad-supported offering will be provided to customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package. Further, ESPN+ will be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers. The ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service will be made available to Spectrum TV Select subscribers upon launch. Charter says it will “maintain flexibility” in regards to pricing its various packages and will offer Disney’s direct-to-consumer services to all of its customers—in particular its broadband-only customer base—at retail rates. These include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, as well as The Disney Bundle.

The companies also have renewed their commitment to mitigating the effects of unauthorized password sharing.

In a joint statement Disney CEO Robert A. Iger and Chris Winfrey, president and CEO at Charter Communications, said: “Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future. This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services, while addressing the evolving needs of our consumers. We also want to thank our mutual customers for their patience this past week, and are pleased that Spectrum viewers once again have access to Disney’s high-quality sports, news and entertainment programming in time for Monday Night Football.”

About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor-in-chief and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on mdaswani@worldscreen.com.


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