Disney and Charter Communications announced on Monday that the companies had struck a “transformative agreement” to end a closely watched carriage dispute, a move that will restore access to channels like ESPN and ABC to the nation’s second largest cable television provider’s nearly 15 million subscribers.
As part of the agreement, Disney will in the coming weeks provide the advertiser-supported offering of Disney+ to select Charter television packages. ESPN+ will be included for more premium subscriptions, as will ESPN’s forthcoming direct-to-consumer service.
The deal could signal more such deals to come, with cable and satellite television providers demanding content companies such as Disney provide their subscribers with access to their alluring streaming services often loaded with premium original shows and films.
The agreement between Disney and Charter came in the nick of time, just hours before the premiere of “Monday Night Football” on ESPN, giving relief to the millions of households who subscribe to Charter and otherwise would not have had access to the NFL game.