Charter, Disney Reach Distribution Pact

New deal incorporates ACC Network and streaming services ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+
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Charter Communications, logo (2017)

Charter Communications said it has reached a comprehensive carriage deal with the Walt Disney Co., a multi-year deal that includes not only its flagship linear channels, but it existing and upcoming streaming services ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+.

The deal includes carriage of Disney’s ABC broadcast stations, pay TV channels like Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, SEC Network, and Longhorn Network, as well as the newly acquired networks of FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Life, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, and BabyTV. In addition, Charter said it will offer customers access to ESPN’s ACC Network, when it launches on Aug. 22. Both Disney and Charter also said they will work together on piracy mitigation, collaborating to implement rules and techniques to address unauthorized access and password sharing.

“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 Charter EVP, programming acquisition Tom Montemagno said in a press release.

The ACC Network, a partnership between ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference, will air 450 live contests including 40 regular-season football games, 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, and more than 200 other regular-season competitions and tournament games from colleges and universities like Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Florida State. In addition, the network will air news and information shows and original programming and together with its digital platform -- ACC Network Extra -- will feature more than 1,350 ACC events in its first year.

ACC Network has landed other carriage deals with DirecTV, Altice USA, Verizon’s FiosTV and streaming services Hulu and PlayStation Vue. 

Comcast offers the digital service ACC Network Extra on its X1 platform, but still hasn’t reached a deal for its linear service. 

“Our new agreement with Charter allows us to continue serving Spectrum TV customers with the full value of the Walt Disney Television and ESPN networks, including the newly acquired FX and Nat Geo networks,” said Disney Media Distribution SVP Sean Breen in a press release. “ACC fans can also rest assured that they will be able to watch their favorite teams on Spectrum, one of the largest distributors across the ACC footprint, when ACC Network launches next week.”

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