(KTLA) — Just hours before Monday Night Football kicks off for the season, Disney and Charter Communications have reached a new carriage deal to end the blackout that has frustrated millions of cable viewers.
Charter is the owner and operator of Spectrum TV.
Nearly 15 million Spectrum customers will finally have their Disney channels restored after a close to 14-day battle. Those channels also include ABC, FX, the Nat Geo Channel and the ESPN family of networks, the home of Monday Night Football.
For almost two weeks, ABC-owned-and-operated stations had gone dark on Spectrum in seven markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Customers will now be able to watch Josh Allen and the Bills take on Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets at 8:15 p.m. Monday.
Robert A. Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and Chris Winfrey, president and CEO of Charter Communications, released this joint statement:
“Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future. This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services, while addressing the evolving needs of our consumers. We also want to thank our mutual customers for their patience this past week, and are pleased that Spectrum viewers once again have access to Disney’s high-quality sports, news and entertainment programming, in time for Monday Night Football.”
Key points of the deal include:
- In the coming months, the Disney+ Basic ad-supported offering will be provided to customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package as part of a wholesale arrangement
- ESPN+ will be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers
- The ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service will be made available to Spectrum TV Select subscribers upon launch
- Charter will maintain flexibility to offer a range of video packages at varying price points based on different customer’s viewing preferences
Charter also will use its significant distribution capabilities to offer Disney’s direct-to-consumer services to all of its customers – in particular its large broadband-only customer base – for purchase at retail rates, the media release about the announcement read.
Those services include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, as well as the Disney Bundle.
Effective immediately, Spectrum TV will provide its customers widespread access to a more curated lineup of 19 networks from the Walt Disney Company.
The cable provider will continue to carry the ABC-owned television stations, Disney Channel, FX and the Nat Geo Channel, in addition to the full ESPN network suite.
Networks that will no longer be included in Spectrum TV video packages include Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild, and Nat Geo Mundo.