Home News Walt Disney and Charter Communications End Channel Blackout

Walt Disney and Charter Communications End Channel Blackout


According to The Wall Street Journal, the media company and the cable operator have reached an agreement to restore channels such as ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel, National Geographic, and FX. Investors have responded positively to this news, with Disney stock (ticker: DIS) rising 1.6% and Charter (CHTR) jumping 2.1% in Monday morning trading. The S&P 500 also saw a 0.3% increase.

Although details of the agreement are not available at this time, both companies are yet to comment on the matter.

Charter had proposed a new structure to Disney after their prior deal expired on August 31. The cable provider is seeking more flexibility to offer “skinnier” cable bundles with fewer channels to its Spectrum customers at a potentially lower cost. Additionally, Charter requested that Disney include ad-supported versions of its streaming services—Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and a future larger ESPN direct-to-consumer service—with Spectrum cable-TV subscriptions at no extra charge.

Initially, Disney declined these proposals, leading Charter to take a firm stance by enacting a channel blackout. Disney’s initial preferences included a rate increase and an arrangement that aligned more closely with the traditional pay-TV bundle status quo.

The news of the Disney-Charter agreement has also had a positive impact on other media companies transitioning from cable-centric to streaming business models. Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) rose by 3% on Monday, while Paramount Global (PARA) gained 2.6%. Comcast (CMCSA), the largest cable provider in the United States and owner of NBCUniversal, experienced a 0.9% increase in its shares.


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