Last week, Spectrum and Disney failed to reach a deal to keep Disney-owned networks on Spectrum. Now, over 14 million residential customers are without ESPN and other Disney-owned networks. That may leave many without college football last weekend, but it also means Disney is losing over $126 million just for the ESPN networks not counting others like FX and the Disney Channel.
It is reported that Disney gets about $9 a month for ESPN from every cable TV customer. Now that Disney just lost 14,071,000 TV residential customers, that leaves an over $126 million hole in ESPN’s budget. This comes at a time when ESPN is already looking for ways to cut costs now, losing over $126 million could force Disney to look for new ways to raise money.
If Disney fails to reach a deal with Spectrum, this could result in over $1.4 billion in lost revenue every year for ESPN. Or about $4 million every day in lost revenue for ESPN. In total according to U.S. News Spectrum pays Disney $2.2 billion in annual programming costs.
This all comes as ESPN has been laying off staff, cutting content, and making cost cutting moves to help make ESPN more profitable. This comes as Disney cuts 7,000 jobs in an effort to cut costs by $5.5 billion.
This comes as both Disney and Spectrum are betting the other will get hit harder. Spectrum risks losing a lot of subscribers who need ESPN. Disney risks the long-term loss of Spectrum, the second-largest cable TV company in this fight. Disney is hoping that, in the long run, its streaming plans will pay off.
To help offset these losses recently, Disney started to encourage Spectrum TV customers to switch to Hulu + Live TV. With this Disney-owned channels Spectrum customers can get access to ESPN and other Disney-owned channels.
Correction the earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the amount Disney would lose every year ESPN is dark on Spectrum.