Disney Lashes Out At Charter Communications Over Spectrum Deadlock
Disney continued its public relations barrage against Charter Communications on Monday, four days after the company’s channels were blacked out on Charter’s Spectrum cable service.
The back and forth began on Thursday after Charter accused Disney of rejecting a “fair deal” and demanding an “excessive increase.”
“The Walt Disney Company has removed their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers. We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase,” the company wrote in a note to customers. “They also want to limit our ability to provide greater customer choice in programming packages forcing you to take and pay for channels you may not want.”
Disney’s Initial Response
Disney fired back over the weekend with a lengthy statement that lambasted Charter for “depriving consumers of content” because they were unwilling to ascribe value to Disney’s streaming service.
“Contrary to their claims, we have offered Charter the most favorable terms on rates, distribution, packaging, advertising and more,” Disney said.
The crux of the deadlock between Disney and Charter seems to revolve around streaming. Charter has pushed for Disney’s streaming services to be free to Spectrum customers, who will be paying a cable higher fee. Disney meanwhile has stated that such an arrangement is a non-starter.
“We have proposed creative ways to make Disney’s direct-to-consumer services available to their Spectrum TV subscribers, including opportunities for new and flexible packages where those services become a focal point of what the consumer might choose,” the statement added.
Sunday’s Amended Statement
While Disney ended their original statement with a hopeful paragraph about valuing the company’s relationship with Charter, and their desire to come to an agreement soon, by Sunday Disney was taking a harder stance.
In an update statement, Disney seemingly encouraged Charter customers to look for other avenues to watch Disney’s blacked-out channels.
“Consumers should also know that they have many options today and can choose from competing pay TV providers that offer Disney’s entire portfolio of networks and programming, as well as TV streaming services that can be accessed by downloading an app or over a broadband connection,” the company’s update post read.
Disney Encourages Viewers To Switch Carriers
On Monday, Disney once again updated their statement, and this time the company was even more blunt.
“Disney deeply values its relationship with its viewers and is hopeful Charter is ready to have more conversations that will restore access to its content to Spectrum customers as quickly as possible,” the blog post added. “However, if you are one of these frustrated customers, it can be infuriating to not be able to access the content you want. Luckily, consumers have more choices today than ever before to immediately access the programming they want without a cable subscription.”
Disney then went on to list DirectTV Stream, YouTube TV, Sling, Fubo, and their own Hulu+ Live TV, as possible alternatives.
As the stalemate between Disney and Charter drags on, the situation is only going to get more messy.
With the NFL set to kick off on Thursday night on ESPN, pressure will continue to build for the two sides to come to an agreement. Hopefully, for the nearly 15 million customers without access to Disney’s 18 networks, an agreement will be reached sooner rather than later.
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