Last year, Disney and Charter Communications were locked in a carriage dispute over access to Disney’s linear television channels, which resulted in the Disney Channel, ESPN, FX and National Geographic temporarily becoming unavailable on Spectrum cable, impacting millions of households across the United States.

The two companies finally came to an agreement, which saw Spectrum drop lots of smaller channels like Freeform, Nat Geo Wild, FXX and Disney Junior. In exchange, Spectrum customers would be provided with the ad-supported version of Disney+ from January 2024.

This past week, Disney released its quarterly financial results and revealed that they are expecting Disney+ subscribers in the US to grow between 5.5 and 6 million in the next quarter, which is a direct result of the Charter Spectrum deal.

During the investor call to discuss the quarter’s financial results, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked if he had any observations related to Charter integrating Disney+ into its pay-TV programming tiers and if he thinks other pay-TV distributors over time will want a similar deal, to which Bob replied:

It’s really early. They didn’t start introducing this to their subscribers really until January, and they didn’t roll it all out right away. And so we’re seeing some stats on this that are somewhat encouraging.

But I want to be careful that, you know, that because it’s early, we’re not sure whether those trends will continue or not. I do think that this kind of arrangement is one that will likely see with other multichannel distributors. It seemed like it was a win-win for both of us, important to us, obviously, because it gives us access to more of their customers, and important to them in terms of bundling this service with their multichannel customers. So, I think it’s — again, I think you’ll see more in this direction.

But too early yet. We may have more to say about this next quarter when we know a lot more.

With Disney being able to sell millions of Disney+ subscribers at once to a cable company, and this deal is likely to be replicated across other cable companies in the future, this will give an initial boost of subscribers but also help stabilise those numbers over time. 

There might likely be some adjustments with Spectrum customers, who already have Disney+, so some accounts might be duplicated and closed, but ultimately, this move is one measure towards making Disney’s streaming business more profitable, which it is planning on doing by the end of the year.

Do you have Disney+ with Spectrum?  Let us know your thoughts below!

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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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