Charter seals Disney carriage deal | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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In a game of brinkmanship that almost saw the first Monday Night Football of the NFL season being a non-event, US comms company Charter Communications and Disney have finally reached agreement for distribution of Disney’s linear networks and direct-to-consumer services.
Disney ESPN 12Sep2023
The multiyear distribution deal, described by the two parties as “transformative”, makes particular reference to the video bundle, in particular ESPN on the Spectrum linear TV service, that Charter will offer customers, something that a number of industry analysts said the comms firms was willing to walk away from and leaving a massive dent in Disney’s revenue lines that could not yet be filling by streaming services.

Effective immediately, the new deal will see Spectrum TV provide its customers access to a more curated line-up of 19 networks from The Walt Disney Company. Spectrum will continue to carry the ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Channel, FX and the Nat Geo Channel, in addition to the full suite of ESPN sports networks. Networks that will no longer be included in Spectrum TV video packages are Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo.
In the coming months, the Disney+ Basic ad-supported direct-to-consumer streaming offer will be provided to customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package, as part of a wholesale arrangement.

Charter will now flexibility to offer a range of video packages at varying price points based upon different customer viewing preferences. It will now also use its distribution capabilities to offer Disney’s direct-to-consumer services to all its customers – in particular its broadband-only customer base – for purchase at retail rates. These include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, as well as The Disney Bundle.

The ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service will be made available to Spectrum TV Select subscribers when it launches and streaming service ESPN+, will be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers.

Commenting on the deal in a joint statement, The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert A. Iger and Charter Communications CEO Chris Winfrey said: “Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future. This deal recognises 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.”