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Will The New Disney-Charter Bundle Agreement Change Cable? 

Photo from Glenn Carstens Peters via Unsplash

Will The New Disney-Charter Bundle Agreement Change Cable? 

By Movieguide® Contributor

Disney and Charter have agreed to offer a bundle that combines their services, a package that could change cable forever. 

“The two companies were in fierce negotiation—and competition,” The Verge reported. “Charter, the second-largest cable provider in the US, with over 32 million subscribers, was tired of the high price of Disney’s channels, particularly its pricey crown jewel, ESPN.” 

“But with its declining subscriptions and the constant headlines about the death of cable TV, Charter was on its back foot in negotiations. Disney, with ESPN, its over 150 million Disney Plus subscribers, nearly 50 million Hulu subscribers, and more than 4 million Hulu with Live TV subscribers, was not,” the outlet added. 

What does the new package mean for customers? 

“You’ll get Disney Plus Basic (that’s the version with ads) when you pay for Spectrum’s TV Select package. Spring for the Spectrum TV Select Plus package, and you’ll get ESPN Plus, too. The result should function sort of as Max currently does: if you subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, you get Max for free; Disney Plus will start to feel the same,” The Verge reported. 

Now that the two powerhouses have joined forces, some speculate that other companies might follow suit.

“It’s a deal that NBCUniversal (which owns Peacock), Paramount (which owns Paramount+) and Warner Bros. Discovery (which owns Max) are surely looking at closely given it is widely expected to impact their future carriage deals,” the Hollywood Reporter stated. 

While networks have not committed to anything yet, NBCUniversal Media Group chairman Mark Lazarus said, “We will continue to evaluate our portfolio. Some of what just happened with Disney and Charter in terms of some networks being prioritized and some de-prioritized, I think the whole industry has to continue to do that, and we will continue to do that as well.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the Disney-Charter agreement: 

Disney and Charter Communications have come to an agreement, ending blackouts on Disney-owned channels and allowing Spectrum subscribers to include Disney+ and ESPN+ within their cable subscription plan.

“Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger and Charter CEO Chris Winfrey in a joint statement. “This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services while addressing the evolving needs of our customers.”

“We also want to thank our mutual customers for their patience this past week and are pleased that Spectrum viewers once again have access to Disney’s high-quality sports, news and entertainment programming, in time for MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL,” the statement continued. 

Disney and Charter added that the deal is “a transformative, multi-year distribution agreement that maximizes value for consumers and supports the linear TV experience as the industry continues to evolve.”