The Walt Disney Company Releases Statement on Cable Dispute With Charter/Spectrum

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Cable subscribers with Charter/Spectrum have not been able to watch any of the channels owned by The Walt Disney Company. Disney pulled its programming on Thursday night as the company and Charter Communications have not been able to reach deal on rates moving forward. Because of this, Charter Communications’ 14.7 million video subscribers saw channels like ABC, Disney Channel, FX, Freeform, and the various ESPN channels go dark. This comes as the industry is seeing rapid change caused by many people decided to cut the cord and ditch cable television all together.

As the dispute continues, Charter Communications says that it is willing to negotiate or do without Disney’s programming. Charter says that the “current video ecosystem is broken. With The Walt Disney Company, we have proposed a model that creates better alignment for the industry and better choices for our customers.” It does also note that it is “hopeful for a path forward.” Disney has also released a statement on the disagreement with the cable company. It can be read in full here:

Here’s What You Need To Know About the Dispute Between Charter/Spectrum and Disney Entertainment

Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the biggest sports weekends of the year. Viewers sit down to watch the anticipated return of college football and enjoy the tennis battles at the US Open.

Unfortunately, for millions of Spectrum cable viewers this has not been the case this holiday weekend, since ESPN and other Disney-owned channels like ABC are blacked out due to a dispute between Spectrum’s parent company—Charter Communications—and Disney Entertainment.

Disputes between cable companies and content providers aren’t new. However, millions of consumers may find themselves perplexed and frustrated by what’s going on.

To cut through the noise, here are some important points to consider as the dispute disrupts one of the biggest TV weekends of the year:

  • Losing ESPN is a major issue for consumers since it’s one of the most popular channels. In fact, ESPN aired more than half (53) of the top 100 telecasts in Charter homes during the past year, per Nielsen, the leading audience measurement, data and analytics company. That includes all 5 of the top 5.
  • In the average month, 71% of Charter subscribers tune into Disney’s networks or stations. In fact, Charter subscribers watched more than 3.3 billion hours of content on Disney networks and stations over the past year, according to Nielsen.
  • Although Charter claims that they value their customers, they declined Disney’s offer to extend negotiations which would have kept Disney-owned networks up for consumers in the middle of perennial programming events like the US Open and college football.
  • Even though Charter also claims to value Disney’s direct-to-consumer services, the cable company is demanding these different services for free—as they have stated publicly—which does not make economic sense. Moreover, it does not make sense for consumers who desire the flexibility to have our streaming platforms as standalone services.

Labor Day weekend is supposed to be one of the more relaxing holidays of the year in the U.S. Unfortunately, Charter has made it a stressful one for its customers—many of whom have been experiencing up to three-hour hold times to cancel their cable subscription after Disney’s networks went dark.

Disney deeply values its relationship with its viewers and is hopeful Charter is ready to have more conversations that will restore access to its content to Spectrum customers as quickly as possible.

Consumers should also know that they have many options today and can choose from competing pay TV providers that offer Disney’s entire portfolio of networks and programming, as well as TV streaming services that can be accessed by downloading an app or over a broadband connection.

For more details, go to

Charter Communications has its own site that shares its side of disagreement at in contrast with Disney’s While it isn’t known when a deal will be made, it appears that both sides of the disagreement have more to gain by making a deal than walking away. What do you think of this disagreement? What do you think the resolution is? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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