Charter Communications Inc. Chief Financial Officer Jessica Fischer described the recent contract renewal with Walt Disney Co. as a victory for pay-TV providers.
(Bloomberg) — Charter Communications Inc. Chief Financial Officer Jessica Fischer described the recent contract renewal with Walt Disney Co. as a victory for pay-TV providers.
Under the agreement announced on Sept. 11, Charter will offer the Disney+ and ESPN+ streaming services at no additional cost to subscribers. Charter will pay Disney a wholesale rate for Disney+ and get ESPN+ for free. The nation’s second-largest cable TV provider also will drop a number of Disney channels it didn’t want to pay for, including Freeform and Disney Junior.
In exchange, Disney gets higher fees for channels such as ABC and FX and a commitment by Charter to provide ESPN to at least 85% of its customers.
Fischer, speaking at an investor conference in New York on Wednesday, said the two companies “pulled together a package that we think can stabilize” the pay TV industry.
“We can offer packages to consumers that fit both their preferences and their budget,” Fischer said.
Cable and satellite-TV providers have been losing customers to streaming services such as Netflix. Charter executives argued the companies needed to offer both streaming and traditional channels.
“You couldn’t move to a new transformational model without ESPN,” Fischer said. “We were willing to accept their sort of market-rate increases, but it was really because we knew they had that linchpin asset and we needed them to be a first-mover to get us into this transformational model.”
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.