Last week, Disney blocked Charter’s Spectrum cable from accessing channels like ABC and ESPN over a disagreement between the two companies over new financial terms. Today, Disney says in a blog post that although Charter “claims to value Disney’s direct-to-consumer services,” it is “demanding these different services for free.”
With cable gradually losing customers and Disney openly musing about selling ESPN on its own as a streaming channel, Charter wanted to include Disney’s streaming apps with its subscriptions. The blackout comes during a weekend when high-profile sports events like the US Open and big college football games are happening (not to mention the first NFL games start next weekend).
In a document Charter published alongside its Friday investor call, it writes that it proposed “bundling ad-supported DTC apps with packaged linear products.” The company says that streaming is unsustainable, leading to pricier ad-free packages and new ad-supported ones — That’s just the thing streaming was supposed to save us from, but instead seems to be what we’re destined for.
Other cable companies have taken a different path in dealing with cable’s decline. Frontier and WOW!, for instance, both said to heck with it this year and essentially became YouTube TV vendors.