NY Governor Kathy Hochul is seeking refunds for Charter Communications Inc. cable subscribers who have lost access to Walt Disney Co.-owned channels as a result of a contract renewal dispute between the two companies.
(Bloomberg) — NY Governor Kathy Hochul is seeking refunds for Charter Communications Inc. cable subscribers who have lost access to Walt Disney Co.-owned channels as a result of a contract renewal dispute between the two companies.
Hochul, a Democrat, directed the state’s Department of Public Service to pursue the refunds from Charter, which she said has more than 1.5 million subscribers to its Spectrum TV service in New York. The New York Jets and Bills are scheduled on Monday Night Football on Sept. 11 on ABC and ESPN.
“It’s simple: if you pay your cable bill, you deserve to get the services you pay for,” Hochul said in a statement Friday.
Charter, which has more than 14.7 million subscribers nationally, can no longer air Disney networks such as ESPN and ABC as result of their dispute. Disney is seeking higher fees for its programming, while Charter wants relief from contract terms that require it to include higher-priced channels such as ESPN in cable packages, even if subscribers don’t watch them. The company also wants Disney to offer its streaming services to Charter subscribers for free.
Charter declined to comment on Hochul’s statement.
In a presentation to investors on Sept. 1, Chief Executive Officer Chris Winfrey said, “We’re going to do what’s not only required, but what’s fair to our customers over time.”
The company “will have a strategy to make sure that we treat customers appropriately and fairly as it relates to credit,” he added.
Fast Company reported that Charter has been offering credits of $15 to customers who call its service line.
Disputes like the Disney-Charter spat aren’t uncommon. On Friday, Dish Network Corp. said Hearst Television is removing 37 local stations from its satellite TV service.
(Updates with company comments in fourth paragraph from bottom.)
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