Disney and Charter Communications inked a multi-year deal today that will deliver a wide range of content — from college sports to The Bachelor — to Spectrum subscribers. The deal avoids a blackout of Disney-controlled networks like ABC and ESPN, reported Bloomberg. It also paves the way for ESPN’s ACC Network, which Charter has agreed to carry as a part of the deal. The new 24/7 network, which was developed in partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference, is expected to launch on August 22nd.
“This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” said Tom Montemagno, executive vice-president of programming acquisition for Charter, in a statement.
As the number of cable subscribers continues to decline with the advent of streaming, the deal offers an incentive for households who want both. Charter plans to integrate ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+ into its set-top boxes, which Spectrum subscribers will be able to access if they subscribe to the individual services.
Disney’s upcoming streaming service, which bundles Hulu and ESPN+, will still be an attractive option for cord-cutters. But cable TV is still a vital contributor to Disney’s bottom line. By securing a carriage deal with Charter, Disney will be able to play a vital role in shaping the future of both streaming and cable TV.