Disney and Charter Communications have reached a deal that will see ESPN and all other Disney-owned channels return to Spectrum broadcasting. CNBC’s David Faber first shared word of an impending on the September 11 edition of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” with both Disney and Charter confirming the deal Monday morning.
Disney, Charter Communications Nearing Deal
The deal comes just hours before the first Monday Night Football game of the 2023 NFL season. Disney exclusively broadcasts Monday Night Football on ESPN, meaning that Spectrum subscribers would have been left in the dark for the upcoming matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and Charter Communications CEO Chris Winfrey issued the following statement published on the official Disney corporate website:
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.Bob Iger and Chris Winfrey
According to The Walt Disney Company’s website, the deal will see the “Disney+ Basic ad-supported offering . . . provided to customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package.” ESPN+ will also be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers.
Faber speculated that concessions regarding the Disney+ streaming service would be made during his appearance on “Squawk Box,” referencing corporate agreements like the one that Warner Bros. currently has with Charter that sees Faber and other Spectrum users receive access to the Max streaming service.
You know, whether it’s a marketplace deal, would you have to believe involves some sort of give here by Disney on its direct to consumer, perhaps just Disney+. Charter had been asking basically for its subscribers to get the ad supported tier for free, not for free, for what they were paying for no more price than the increase that was built in . . . Let’s see if it does include Disney+, for example, perhaps at some lower price for Charter subscribers, but there’ll be promoting it to them.David Faber, CNBC’s “Squawk Box”
Disney-owned channels are set to return to Spectrum broadcasting on Monday.
Disney, Charter Communications Dispute
Disney recently pulled all of their broadcasting channels from Spectrum due to a contract dispute with Charter Communications. The dispute centered around how much Disney wanted to charge Charter for their content and how much Charter customers would pay. Disney pulled their channels from Spectrum ahead of Labor Day weekend, leaving Spectrum subscribers without direct access to the opening weekend of NCAA football and the U.S. Open.
Disney set up keepmynetworks.com with links for Spectrum customers to contact Spectrum and tell them they want to keep Disney networks, as well as help for switching providers. Disney also saw a spike in Hulu + Live TV sales amid the dispute.
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