When Charter Communications Spectrum struck a deal with Disney to end the 12-day cable blackout and bring back channels like ESPN and FX to the cable provider’s lineup, a few of Disney-owned networks were left out.
Spectrum plans to drop Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo, and the list has grown. Now multiple secondary cable networks in danger of being shut down, according to report from S&P Global Market Intelligence analyst Scott Robson spotted earlier by NextTV.
These channels include:
- BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV (AMC Networks)
- CNBC World, E!, Syfy, Universal Kids (Comcast Corp. NBCUniversal)
- Fox Sports 2 (Fox Corp.)
- BET Gospel, BET Her, BET Hip-Hop, BET James, BET Soul, CMT Music, LOGO, MTV Classic, MTV Live, MTV2, mtvu, Nick Jr. NickMusic, Nicktoons, POP, Smithsonian Channel, TeenNick, Tr3s (Paramount Global)
- Disney Jr., Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo Wild (Walt Disney Co.)
- American Heroes Channel, Boomerang, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Science, TCM, truTV (Warner Bros. Discovery)
Disney and Spectrum’s deal gave the cable provider’s customers free access to Disney+’s ad-tier version. ESPN+ will also be available for Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers, but it’s unclear whether it will also be free. In his report, Robson predicts that as streaming services become more available for traditional linear cable subscribers, niche cable networks start being phased out in an effort to slim down their channel lineups with less risk of losing out on affiliate revenue.
“Carriage deals forged in 2012 were focused on ‘TV Everywhere’ rights,” Robson wrote. “Nowadays, deals include negotiations for buy-through windows for streaming services like AMC+ and Discovery+.”
Disney and Spectrum’s heated dispute lasted for two sports-filled weekends and left 14.7 million Spectrum subscribers without viewing access at the start of college football season.
Spectrum argued that the cost of content needed to be redefined and called the video ecosystem “broken.” The key sticking points in the argument was ESPN and Disney’s insistence on including it in more cable packages than Spectrum wanted. As the war between the two companies heated up, Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said he was willing to walk away from Disney, which would have been devastating to the media company and its ESPN asset. When talks between the two companies broke down, channels like ESPN, FX, The Disney Channel and multiple college sports networks went dark for the cable provider.