Disney and Spectrum Carriage Agreement, Ending Epic 10-Day Impasse – Deadline

Disney and Charter Communications have reached a carriage renewal, ending a 10-day impasse that has drawn intense scrutiny into the changing economics of pay TV in the streaming era.

The deal was confirmed to the deadline this morning by a person familiar with the negotiations. CNBC and The Wall Street Journal The deal was also reported.

Representatives for Disney and Charter did not respond to initial requests for comment. No details were immediately available about the agreement.

Since the evening of August 31, 18 Disney cable networks and eight ABC stations have shut down Charter, the No. 2 cable TV operator in the United States with nearly 15 million subscribers. The deal was reached just hours before the start of the regular season Monday Night Football, which features a highly anticipated game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. Already, the impasse has wiped out more than a week of high-profile sporting events, including the US Open tennis and college football tournaments. ABC’s fall season, though hurt by ongoing writer and cast strikes, was also hanging in the balance, and the reach of shows like the view Its scope has also been significantly narrowed by the conflict.

The impasse began after the two sides failed to reach a compromise. Disney complained that Charter wanted the rights to integrate Disney’s streaming services into its video offering without paying any additional fees. Charter responded that Disney was double-dealing by blurring the line between programming on its cable networks and that on its streaming services.

While battles over distribution are by no means common, they have taken on a more existential tone as the pay-TV package continues to shrink. About 25% of Charter’s video customers have dropped the service in just the past five years, and CEO Chris Winfrey has indicated the company is strongly considering “pivoting” out of the pay-TV business. “This is not a typical transportation dispute,” he said during a Sept. 1 call with investors. In an appearance last week at a Goldman Sachs conference, he said little progress had been made in negotiations.

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Cord-cutting puts pressure on the long-lucrative dual revenue stream of both transportation and advertising, with a negative impact on both programmers and operators. Charter estimated it would pay Disney $2.2 billion in 2023 for the rights to carry its shows. Most of these costs are passed on to consumers.

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