A conflict between Disney and Charter that arose in early September in the United States has been settled as a result of an agreement that may mark a turning point in the world’s audiovisual industry. The Walt Disney Company has given in to the stance adopted by one of the most important Pay TV and Internet companies in the United States: Charter. “In the coming months”, the operator will begin to include streaming service Disney+ ad-supported version in its Pay TV packages at no additional cost.
As part of the deal, Espn+, a sports OTT owned by Disney in the United States, will also be added to some of Charter’s Pay TV plans. In addition, it will be possible for Charter to sell subscriptions for Disney’s streaming platforms to Internet users.
Charter had adopted a firm stance in the negotiations for the renewal of the agreement for the distribution of Disney’s Pay TV linear channels. As a condition for the acceptance of the price increase proposed by Disney, Charter demanded the addition of Disney+ add-supported version to its packages. Charter spokespeople explained that the requirement was reasonable insofar as customers would not have to pay twice for similar content. In the absence of an agreement, Disney’s linear channels had been withdrawn from the lineup offered by Spectrum, the Pay TV service owned by Charter.
On September 11, both companies announced the new agreement, which was presented as a “transforming distribution agreement” for the world’s audiovisual industry. According to the press release, the deal “maximizes value for consumers and supports the linear TV experience as the industry continues to evolve”. “As part of the deal, the majority of Disney’s networks and stations will be immediately restored to Spectrum’s video customers.”