Subscribers to the Spectrum Cable Networks in many major markets, including Los Angeles and New York, have lost access to Disney’s network of linear channels today, including ESPN, ABC, FX, National Geographic and the Disney Channel, following a carriage dispute between the cable provider and the Walt Disney Company.
The two companies have been in negotiations for a while, but now, with the deal expiring, the channels have now gone dark, which has frustrated sports fans ahead of this week’s US Open Tennis event.
Charter Communications, which runs Sinclair, has announced that it will be hosting a special webcast to discuss the status of its distribution agreement with Disney on Friday, September 1, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).
The two companies have made statements regarding the situation, with Disney saying:
“Disney Entertainment has successful deals in place with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country, and the rates and terms we are seeking in this renewal are driven by the marketplace. We’re committed to reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution with Charter and we urge them to work with us to minimize the disruption to their customers,”
While Charter Spectrum has said in a note to customers:
“We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase. 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. 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.”
The full list of channels impacted include:
FX Movie Channel,
Nat Geo Wild,
Nat Geo Mundo,
ABC On Demand programming,
ABC7 Los Angeles,
ABC7 New York,
ABC7 San Francisco,
Disney has been under more pressure from Wall Street to be more profitable, and with more customers moving from linear networks to streaming, it’s likely we will see more disputes moving forward as Disney CEO Bob Iger has previously stated that linear networks are no longer core to the company and are potentially looking at opportunities to even sell the linear channels off, to focus on streaming. Cable companies are continuing to resist price increases since this will only encourage more people to cut the cord to shift to streaming.
Unfortunately, we don’t know when or if these channels will return to the Spectrum cable package, but hopefully, this situation is fixed soon.
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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.