In an announcement that promises significant benefits for consumers and reinforces the enduring value of linear television, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) have unveiled a transformative, multiyear distribution agreement. This groundbreaking deal underscores their shared commitment to crafting an innovative model for the future, embracing both traditional linear TV and the surging popularity of streaming services.
A pivotal aspect of this agreement is the immediate restoration of the majority of Disney’s networks and stations to Spectrum’s video customers. This move comes at a time when the media industry is in a state of constant evolution.
In a joint statement, Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Chris Winfrey, CEO of Charter Communications, expressed their collective vision: “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.”
Here are some key highlights from this landmark agreement:
- Disney+ Basic Ad-Supported Offering: In the coming months, customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package will gain access to the Disney+ Basic ad-supported offering. This inclusion will be part of a wholesale arrangement, further enriching the viewing experience.
- ESPN+ for Spectrum TV Select Plus Subscribers: Subscribers to Spectrum TV Select Plus will enjoy access to ESPN+, enhancing their sports content choices.
- ESPN Flagship Direct-to-Consumer Service: Spectrum TV Select subscribers will gain access to the ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service when it launches, ensuring an expansive sports viewing experience.
- Flexible Video Packages: Charter will retain the flexibility to offer a diverse array of video packages, accommodating varying customer preferences and budgets.
- Direct-to-Consumer Services: Charter will leverage its extensive distribution capabilities to provide Disney’s direct-to-consumer services to all its customers. This offering extends to its substantial broadband-only customer base and encompasses Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and The Disney Bundle, enriching content options.
Effective immediately, Spectrum TV customers will enjoy an enriched lineup, featuring 19 networks from The Walt Disney Company. This selection encompasses the ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Channel, FX, and the Nat Geo Channel, alongside the full suite of ESPN networks. While these offerings are celebrated, it’s important to note that certain networks, including Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild, and Nat Geo Mundo, will no longer be included in Spectrum TV video packages.
In addition to these milestones, both Disney and Charter have recommitted themselves to leading the industry in addressing unauthorized password sharing, safeguarding their valuable business models.
This landmark agreement between Disney and Charter Communications heralds a new era in media consumption, offering consumers a broader array of content choices while preserving the enduring appeal of linear television. As the media landscape continues to evolve, this transformative partnership ensures that viewers will have access to the content they love, both now and in the future.