Last year, Disney was involved in a carriage dispute with Charter Communications, resulting in Spectrum cable customers losing temporary access to all of Disney’s linear channels.  

But it didn’t take long for the two companies to reach an agreement, which restored some of Disney’s channels. As part of the deal, many of the lesser popular channels like Disney Junior, Nat Geo Wild, and Freeform weren’t restored in exchange for access to the ad-supported version of Disney+.

This new deal was a major win for Disney, which is expected to add millions of additional Disney+ subscribers in the next quarter. Other cable companies are also expected to want a similar deal during upcoming carriage negotiations.

Recently, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference and was asked if he thinks they’ll do more of these deals in the future, at least in the US market, to which Bob replied:

As Bob Iger said, it is a win-win for both Disney and the cable companies, especially since the ad-supported tier allows Disney to earn additional revenue from advertising. 

While the wholesale price for Disney+ is much lower when a cable company buys millions of subscriptions in bulk, there are additional benefits for Disney. The risk of churn is drastically reduced because the customers are tied into a larger bundle, often with minimum contracts. Disney is also signing similar deals with other companies, which helps boost not just subscribers but also viewership.

Cord cutting continues to accelerate, but with the cable bundles focusing on offering streaming services in addition to linear channels, customers will likely feel they are getting more value from staying signed up.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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