The dispute between Disney and Charter Spectrum disrupted the access of millions of viewers to two of Disney’s most prominent networks: ABC and ESPN. The networks were disconnected during the US Open due to a dispute over carriage fees.
The fees that the cable company pays to carry Disney-owned channels are at the heart of the disagreement between Disney and Charter Spectrum. Cable companies are able to broadcast networks’ material to their subscribers thanks to agreed fees known as carriage fees. Complex conversations about pricing, terms, and distribution rights frequently take place during these talks.
Charter was unwilling to pay the fees so Disney took them off the network.
Charter said Friday presentation, said programmers’ multichannel video packages are too costly for customers. Charter said, they pay about $2.2 billion in annual programming costs to Disney but only 25% of viewers “regularly engage with Disney content.”
Charter customers will not be able to view college football until a resolution is made, if any.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have not yet agreed to a new market-based agreement,” Disney said in a statement. “As a result, their Spectrum TV subscribers no longer have access to our unrivaled portfolio of live sporting events and news coverage plus kids, family and general entertainment programming from the ABC Owned Television Stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels.”
Spectrum said in a press release to its customers,
“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.
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.
Spectrum is on your side and fighting to keep costs down while protecting and maximizing customer choice.
The rising cost of programming is the single greatest factor in higher cable TV prices, and we are fighting hard to hold the line on programming rates imposed on us by companies like Disney.
We apologize for the inconvenience.”
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