Last month, Disney made a new landmark deal with Charter Communications for its Spectrum cable customers, which saw Disney remove a number of channels, including Freeform, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Disney Junior. In exchange for this, Spectrum cable customers are going to get access later this year to the ad-supported version of Disney+.
This shift to offering the ad-supported Disney+ and removing less popular linear channels is apparently a good thing, according to Nexstar, who run the CW network and many ABC networks, along with other affiliate channels. The media company recently released a 12-page slide deck sharing their thoughts on how good this offer is for the cable industry.
According to Nexstar, the new Charter offering with high-profile content in a single offering should reduce churn. Providing more content that viewers want at a competitive/better price than the direct-to-consumer bundle, which should allow subscriber trends to stabilize.
They also feel that this new deal, will allow the bloated cable portfolio to be reduced, as derivative cable networks will no longer be carried. This will help reduce content spending by eliminating underperforming cable networks, which the studios can reallocate to premium content like Broadcast TV.
Nexstar is still very bullish about the use of broadcast television, but with fewer people watching traditional linear television, the industry is adapting to a world where streaming services like Disney+ are how many watch their entertainment. So this deal between Charter and Disney, will likely help Nexstar, who feel the cable network has too many channels, so with less competition, this will allow them to maintain or maybe even grow their viewership for their own channels.
And with Disney holding talks about potentially selling some of its local ABC stations to Nexstar, it makes sense they would want ABC stations to continue to be a priority. While the idea of bundling streaming services with cable might help keep cable providers and stations going, is it going to be a good thing for consumers, as it’s unlikely prices will go down, since they are just swapping channels for ad-supported streaming packages.
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