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Charter Says Spectrum’s Disney Dispute Is Not A Typical Carriage Dispute

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Disney, ESPN, and other channels owned by The Walt Disney Company, are currently unavailable to Spectrum TV customers. The channels officially went offline last night and it currently remains unclear when they will return.

As is so often the case with disputes, this one seems to revolve around carriage fees. However, Charter says that “this is not a typical carriage dispute” and is marketing the situation as representative of the industry as a whole.

Specifically, the decline of linear video subscription services and the advance of streaming and direct-to-consumer products.

Charter explained that “the current video ecosystem is broken” and accused Disney of insisting “on unsustainable price hikes and forcing customers to take their products, even when they don’t want or can’t afford them.”

With these accusations in mind, Charter says it “proposed a model” to Disney that the company believes will not only benefit the industry as a whole but customers as well.

For example, Charter says that, “they [Disney] also want to require customers to pay twice to get content apps with the linear video they have already paid for.”

To combat this, Charter’s proposed model would see Disney’s ad-supported direct-to-consumer (DTC) apps (Disney+, ESPN+ etc) included with Charter’s linear products. This, according to Charter, would avoid customers having “to pay twice for similar programming.”

Other proposals include lowering penetration minimums and Charter commiting to market Disney’s DTC products to its broadband-only customers. If Disney was to agree to these conditions, Charter said it would accept Disney’s rates.

Charter does make a lot of valid points here, and while some of its proposals make sense to some degree, it remains to be seen if Disney would ever agree to them.

Disney has already issued a statement to various outlets effectively stating that it believes the carriage rates represent fair market value and, in part, are dictated by deals the company has already agreed with other pay-TV providers.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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