Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Comments On The Disney-Charter Deadlock
As Spectrum subscribers remain blacked out from Disney’s channels for the seventh straight day, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts chimed in on the ongoing Disney-Charter deadlock.
While noting that Comcast doesn’t see its own business as “linear or streaming” but instead as “linear and streaming, Roberts admitted that he was “not completely surprised” by the dispute.
“When you have many distributors of the same product and in a geography, you’re gonna have disputes between the content and distribution,” Roberts said.
Streaming Is At The Heart Of The Issue
The crux of the deadlock between Charter and Disney seems to revolve around streaming. Charter believes that its users should get free access to Disney’s streaming services, as they will be paying higher carriage fees to “subsidize” those services.
Disney meanwhile has said such an argument is a non-starter, and publically lambasted Charter for not ascribing any value to the streaming services.
According to Roberts, the dispute is more indicative of the current media landscape than it is of the specific parties involved.
“It’s not the first dispute and probably won’t be the last dispute,” Roberts said. “Clearly, we all know the video ecosystem is changing. And I think [Comcast] is really well positioned for that change, but change can have disruption and, ultimately, I hope people are looking at, what is the consumer saying? I think the consumer wants simplicity, somebody to help aggregate and have the most bang for their buck. This dispute is putting tension around some of those issues. I hope they work it out. I think that’s in the interest of consumers.”
How The Two Sides Have Fared
As the dispute drags on, Charter Communications seen the brunt of the pushback from viewers.
Disney meanwhile has seen a 60% increase in subscribers since the blackouts began.
While a deal between Disney and Charter is inevitable, the framework of the agreement could have lasting repercussions. Until then, all anyone can do is wait and see.