Last week, Spectrum subscribers lost Disney-owned networks, including ESPN, FX, Disney Channel, and even Disney-owned ABC stations. Spectrum made it very clear that this will be a different kind of fight, and they want Disney to change how the cable TV model works.
At the core of this fight seems to be Disney’s plans to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service for ESPN. Now Spectrum is asking Disney to agree to let Spectrum sell bundles of its streaming services at discounted prices. According to Spectrum, this new model “creates the pathway for Disney to stabilize its linear losses and grow its DTC business, ultimately preserving cash flows.”
Now the growing demands for Disney and Spectrum to work this issue out has even reached the desk of the Governor of North Carolina. Now Roy Cooper, the Governor of North Carolina, has asked Spectrum and Disney to resolve their fight an bring Disney channels back to Spectrum.
For now, both sides seem very far apart. Spectrum says Disney’s streaming services have sped up the decline of cable TV. With the launch of Disne+, Spectrum says viewership on the Disney Channel dropped. Now Spectrum says with ESPN’s own direct-to-consumer service launching soon its time to make changes in how cable TV works. Now if Disney won’t agree to these new terms, Spectrum is willing to wait it out and even walk away from this fight.
Disney says their demands for a price hike and for the Disney-owned channels to be in 80% of Spectrums packages is reasonable.
Sadly with this being a private fight between the two companies governors have little say in what will happen next. So, how long will this fight last? It is very possible that this fight could go on for months. With that said, at any moment, one side or the other could change their mind, but for now, both sides seem to be digging in their feet to outlast the other. In statements from both Spectrum and Disney both sides made it clear they are willing to fight for what they want.