Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Disney and Spectrum kiss and make up

It took a week and a half, but Spectrum and Disney finally settled their differences and ended the blackout.

At the start of the month, Disney channels, including ESPN, were removed from Spectrum. Things got nasty, mean things were said, and Spectrum customers did without ESPN for a week and a half.

That's over now. They're playing nice. Mostly.

Disney gave a little, Spectrum gave a little, and Spectrum TV customers now have ESPN again. But they didn't get everything back.

Spectrum customers will no longer get access to Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo under the deal announced Monday.

As part of the new deal, customers will be able to purchase Disney+, Hulu or The Disney Bundle directly through Charter. Anyone who purchases Spectrum TV Select Plus will get the basic version of Disney+ included in their package. Spectrum TV Select Plus customers will also get ESPN+ and ESPN's standalone streaming service, which hasn't launched yet.

Only 1% of U.S. households watch more than 12 hours of ESPN in the average month, according to analysts from LightShed Partners. That means Spectrum's dedicated ESPN viewers could have easily picked a different avenue for watching live sports "a few clicks and a credit card," analysts said in a research note Monday.

Is this a good thing? Well, it's good for Spectrum TV customers. Personally, I'd have ... well, I can't say what I would have done. I never used Spectrum TV, and I haven't subscribed to any cable TV service since January 2011.

I dropped cable a long time ago, and really can't relate to people who still subscribe to cable. My Streaming Life works great for me. If Spectrum TV customers are happy, great. I couldn't be them.

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