The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications have unveiled an extensive, multiyear distribution agreement aimed at delivering maximum value to consumers and supporting the linear TV experience amidst ongoing industry changes. As part of this arrangement, Spectrum’s video customers will promptly regain access to the majority of Disney’s networks and stations.
In a joint statement, Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Chris Winfrey, CEO of Charter Communications, emphasized their shared aspiration to pioneer an innovative model for the future. The deal acknowledges the enduring significance of linear television and the surging popularity of streaming services, all while accommodating the evolving demands of their customer base. They also expressed gratitude to their mutual customers for their patience during a recent disruption and are pleased to announce the reinstatement of Disney’s top-notch sports, news, and entertainment programming, just in time for Monday Night Football.
Key aspects of the Charter agreement include:
- In the near future, Spectrum TV Select package customers will gain access to the Disney+ Basic ad-supported offering as part of a wholesale arrangement.
- ESPN+ will be made available to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers.
- Spectrum TV Select subscribers will have access to the ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service upon its launch.
- Charter will retain the flexibility to offer a variety of video packages at different price points, catering to diverse customer viewing preferences.
- Charter will utilize its extensive distribution capabilities to make Disney’s direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and The Disney Bundle, available for purchase at retail rates to all its customers, with a particular focus on its substantial broadband-only customer base.
Effective immediately, Spectrum TV will provide its customers with comprehensive access to a carefully curated selection of 19 networks from The Walt Disney Company. This lineup will continue to include the ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Channel, FX, and the Nat Geo Channel, along with the complete suite of ESPN networks. However, several networks, such as Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild, and Nat Geo Mundo, will no longer be part of Spectrum TV video packages.
Furthermore, both parties have renewed their commitment to lead the industry in addressing the challenges posed by unauthorized password sharing to protect their valuable business models.