Disney and Charter Reach Agreement- The Blackout Is Over
Disney and Charter Communications have finally reached a new carriage deal, ten days after all Disney-owned channels went dark on Charter’s Spectrum TV.
The resolution came just hours before the first Monday Night Football game of the season was set to kick off on ESPN.
Just days ago, Charter CEO Chris Winfrey floated the idea that Charter could simply move forward without Disney-owned channels, and create a new “sportless” package.
Streaming Was The Issue
According to Winfrey, the cable company needed to stand its ground in order to create a larger change in the media landscape.
Winfrey asserted that the prevalent paradigm in media that sees linear television and streaming as two separate entities is wrong.
“They’re focused on direct-to-consumer businesses as if it was a completely separate business,” Winfrey said. “I don’t think it’s a separate business. You have to take a look at the two together; you have a consolidated set of cash flows.”
A Deal Has Been Reached
Winfrey believes that media companies like Disney have propped up streaming while letting their “linear programming house burn to the ground.”
Under the new carriage agreement, Disney will make the ad-supported version of Disney+ and ESPN+ available to as many as 9.5 million Spectrum subscribers under a “wholesale agreement”.
Disney also agreed to make the direct-to-consumer version of ESPN available to Charet customers “when it launches”.
As part of the agreement, Disney agreed to let Charter drop some of its prominent cable networks including Freedorm, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nat Geo Wild, FXM, and Baby TV.
Disney and Charter Release Join Statement
“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,“ Bob Iger and Chris Winfrey said in a joint statement.
“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.”
In the end, both sides came together and made a deal. Thank goodness our long national nightmare is over.