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Disney and Charter Dispute Leads to ESPN and ABC Channels Going Dark on TVs

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Disney and Charter Dispute Leaves ESPN and ABC Channels Dark on TVs

Disney and Charter Communications are embroiled in a dispute over their distribution agreement, resulting in channels like ESPN going dark for Charter's Spectrum cable service customers. In the midst of U.S. Open tennis coverage, Disney pulled ESPN, ABC, and other cable channels off Spectrum, impacting major markets such as New York and Los Angeles.

Clashing Perspectives

Charter flashed a message on screens urging viewers to contact Disney, claiming they had offered a fair deal but were facing excessive demands for increased rates. Charter argues that rising programming costs imposed by companies like Disney are the primary driver of higher cable TV prices, and they are fighting to hold the line on programming rates.

Challenges for Cable Companies

Cable companies have been grappling with the loss of subscribers who are opting for streaming services. Charter, in a recent presentation, stated that the multichannel video packages offered by programmers are expensive and fail to meet customer needs.

Marketplace Driven Rates

Disney, on the other hand, stated that the rates and terms they are seeking in the renewal of the agreement are driven by the marketplace. They argue that their proposed rates are fair and reflective of market conditions.

Stalled Partnership Proposal

Charter serves over 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. The company claims that Disney has not seriously engaged with their partnership proposal. Charter already pays approximately $2.2 billion in annual programming costs to Disney, while only 25% of its viewers regularly engage with Disney content.

Impact on Charter Customers

Without a resolution, Charter customers will not have access to other live sporting events, including college football, which has just kicked off its season. In conclusion, the dispute between Disney and Charter has resulted in ESPN and ABC channels going dark for Charter's Spectrum cable service customers. The clash over rates and programming costs reflects the challenges faced by cable companies in a changing media landscape. The outcome of this dispute will impact not only the two companies involved but also the viewers who rely on their services for live sports and entertainment.

Implications for New Businesses

The ongoing dispute between Disney and Charter Communications offers valuable insights for new businesses, particularly those in the media and entertainment industry.

Understanding Market Dynamics

The clash over rates and programming costs underscores the importance of understanding market dynamics. New businesses must be aware of the costs involved in their operations and the potential for disputes over these costs. They should also be prepared to negotiate and find mutually beneficial solutions.
Customer Impact
The dispute has led to ESPN and ABC channels going dark for Charter's Spectrum cable service customers, highlighting the potential impact of business disputes on customers. New businesses must prioritize customer needs and work to minimize any negative impacts on their customer base.

Adapting to Industry Trends

The challenges faced by cable companies in the face of rising streaming services underline the need for businesses to adapt to industry trends. New businesses must stay updated on the latest trends and be ready to pivot their strategies accordingly.


In conclusion, the Disney-Charter dispute offers a "hot take" on the complexities of business agreements, the importance of understanding market dynamics, and the need to adapt to industry trends. New businesses can learn from this situation and use these insights to navigate their own challenges and opportunities in the marketplace.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/01/disney-charter-in-talks-for-new-distribution-agreement.html
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