The dispute between Charter and Disney over Spectrum carriage fees for Disney-owned channels has now led to legal action via a class-action lawsuit.
Last week, a number of channels, including Disney and ESPN, were dropped from Spectrum TV. Charter was quick to jump to its own defense by putting the blame not only on Disney but the industry as a whole. Disney responded with its own argument, firmly placing the blame on Charter.
It now seems as though the courts are getting involved. In a recently filed class-action lawsuit published by The Hollywood Reporter, customers argue that Charter failed “to fulfill contractual obligations” by not consistently providing access to Disney-owned channels, and opted to use Spectrum consumers “as a pawn in a clear money grab.”
The lawsuit additionally claims that Charter “engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices by consistently billing the plaintiff for access to channels owned by Disney while failing to provide those channels as contracted.”
As a result, the class-action is looking to get an order in place that requires Charter to “fulfill its contractual obligations by providing the Disney channels” or reimburse Class Members for channels not provided.
In fairness to Charter, the company has already started issuing $15 statement credits to affected customers. Although, getting the credit is a little harder than most people might expect, considering it requires the customer to get in contact with Charter first.
In addition to the statement credit, Charter has also been encouraging customers to temporarily try a live TV streaming service like Fubo, Sling TV, or YouTube TV. Basically, live TV services not owned by Disney.
However, it would seem those taking part in the class action are not too happy with Charter’s live TV provider recommendations, claiming the process to be inconvenient, while continuing to be charged for services not received.
Disney has also been using the dispute as an opportunity to promote Hulu Live TV, even going on a marketing blitz to bring attention to its live TV streaming service. A move which, according to Deadline, appears to be working after resulting in an uptick in more new Hulu Live TV subscribers than expected.