×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney, Charter Set Mammoth Carriage Deal That Opens Door for Disney Plus Distribution

Disney and Charter Communications have reached a mammoth carriage agreement that covers 22 cable channels and sets a framework for the companies working together on future distribution of the Disney Plus and ESPN Plus streaming services.

The multi-year pact encompasses carriage of ESPN’s latest college football offering, ACC Network, featuring Atlantic Coast Conference games. It also covers ABC’s eight O&O stations as well as Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, SEC Network, Longhorn Network and new additions for Disney from its 21st Century Fox purchase: FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Life, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and BabyTV.

The companies said the deal “contemplates Charter’s future distribution” of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. The launch of Disney Plus in November is a touchy subject for Disney and its MVPD partners. The agreement sets a blueprint for Disney to provide incentives to Charter to market Disney Plus and ESPN Plus as a stand-alone broadband offerings — given that premium content offerings can be a way to help Charter market its broadband service. It also allows for future discussions about Charter integrating both apps into its latest set-top boxes, as Comcast has done with Netflix.

Disney and Charter have also agreed to work together on battling content piracy and password-sharing among customers who use Charter’s authenticated on-demand platforms.

“This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” said Tom Montemagno, Charter’s exec VP of programming acquisition.

Charter is the nation’s second-largest cable operator behind Comcast with 15.8 million video subscribers. Charter and other MVPDs have been taking a hard line on new carriage deals with cable programmers. But Disney has such breadth of content that it has the clout to add an 11th outlet, the ACC Network, to its list of ESPN-affiliated sports channels. ACC Network is set to debut Aug. 22.

“Our new agreement with Charter allows us to continue serving Spectrum TV customers with the full value of the Walt Disney Television and ESPN networks, including the newly acquired FX and Nat Geo networks,” said Sean Breen, senior VP of Disney Media Distribution. “ACC fans can also rest assured that they will be able to watch their favorite teams on Spectrum, one of the largest distributors across the ACC footprint, when ACC Network launches next week.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Sterling K Brown SAG Awards

    Sterling K. Brown to Produce Drama Series 'Everyday Insanity' in Development at Fox

    Fox is developing a one-hour drama that boasts Sterling K. Brown among its executive producers. Titled “Everyday Insanity,” the series is inspired by the life events of series creator Laura Bensick. It is described as an uplifting drama about three wildly different families who form a “created family” to support each other after their loved [...]

  • Karyn KusamaGovernors Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles,

    Survival Drama 'Yellowjackets' Lands Showtime Pilot Order, Karyn Kusama to Direct

    The hour-long drama “Yellowjackets” has been ordered to pilot at Showtime, Variety has learned. In addition, “Destroyer” director Karyn Kusama has come onboard to direct the pilot in addition to serving as an executive producer. The series was created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, who will also executive produce and serve as showrunners. Drew Comins [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Bob Bakish Viacom CEO

    ViacomCBS Leaders Talk NFL Negotiations, Streaming Wars and Merger Focus

    Viacom and CBS aim to prosper in the streaming arena by covering both ends of the marketplace, blending Viacom’s focus on ad-supported platforms with CBS’ strong head start on subscribers for CBS All Access and Showtime. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish and incoming ViacomCBS chief financial officer Christina Spade outlined the combined company’s vision for how [...]

  • Bill's Brain Netflix

    TV Review: 'Inside Bill's Brain'

    A certain type of documentary has grown in prevalence and popularity lately — the piece that marshals evidence in service of the case that a very widely known contemporary figure is actually even greater than one had previously thought. The vogue began in summer 2018 with the features “RBG” (about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader [...]

  • Kiefer Sutherland'Forsaken' film premiere, Toronto International

    Kiefer Sutherland to Star in 'The Fugitive' Remake at Quibi

    Kiefer Sutherland is heading to Quibi. The “24” actor will star in a series remake of the 1993 Harrison Ford movie “The Fugitive,” which has been given the greenlight at Quibi. Sutherland will play legendary Detective Clay Bryce who is trying to apprehend Mike Ferro, played by Boyd Holbrook. Stephen Hopkins, who previously worked with [...]

  • Thandie Newton and Regina King70th Primetime

    Emmys 2019: The Ultimate Party Guide

    The 71st annual Emmy Awards may be going hostless this year, but that doesn’t mean the big night will be any less of a celebration. For all the details on the biggest bashes happening this week and throughout the weekend, check out Variety‘s Ultimate Emmys Party Guide below. Tuesday, Sept. 17 Variety’s Showrunners DinnerEveleigh, 7:30 p.m [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content