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

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a commission. Learn more

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

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at or say hi on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Streaming can be frustrating but please be respectful and avoid personal information. All comments are moderated according to our comment policy.