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Disney Pulls All Its Channels From Charter Spectrum In Contract Dispute



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Disney blocked its channels from Charter’s Spectrum cable TV provider, which has nearly 15 million subscribers, including ESPN, ABC, FX, and several others.
Disney initiated the Spectrum blackout after Charter refused to agree to the fee increases Disney requested in their latest contract negotiations. The blackout affects major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
“We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase,” Spectrum wrote in a note to customers. “They also want to limit our ability to provide greater customer choice in programming packages forcing you to take and pay for channels you may not want.”
Channel bundling is a common practice by network owners like Disney. By bundling their most popular channels, like ESPN and Disney, with less popular channels people might not normally choose to pay for, they can bolster support for the smaller channels.
“The rising cost of programming is the single greatest factor in higher cable TV prices, and we are fighting hard to hold the line on programming rates imposed on us by companies like Disney,” Spectrum said.
The blackout, which began Thursday night, prevented viewers from seeing coverage of the U.S. Open on ESPN, which was set to broadcast a match between Carlos Alcaraz and Lloyd Harris. Heading into the weekend, college football fans are missing a slate of big games as the season opens.
In its note to subscribers, Spectrum encouraged them to “take action” by sending an email to Disney executives, and provided a link to a template to do so.
TMX contributed to this article.