US telco Charter and Disney have signed an expanded distribution deal which opens the door to the future possibility of carrying Disney’s streaming services Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney +.
The multi-year deal will see the telco’s Spectrum service offer a range of Disney’s ever-increasing roster of TV channels, including ESPN, the soon-to-launch ACC Network and the latest additions from the Fox deal such as FX and National Geographic.
But the most interesting part of the contract comes in the form of a ‘contemplation’ over Charter’s future distribution of the streaming platforms.
The deal lays the groundwork for Charter to potentially offer Disney+ and ESPN+ as premium content services for its broadband service, along with integrating them into Charter’s set-top boxes.
The operator is the second-largest in the US, with 15.8 million video subscribers.
Charter EVP for programming acquisition Tom Montemagno said: “This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation.”
The integration of streaming services as apps in set-top boxes has become a common practice, with many operators such as Comcast and Liberty Global offering access to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
Sean Breen, senior VP of Disney Media Distribution added: “Our new agreement with Charter allows us to continue serving Spectrum TV customers with the full value of the Walt Disney Television and ESPN networks, including the newly acquired FX and Nat Geo networks.
“ACC fans can also rest assured that they will be able to watch their favorite teams on Spectrum, one of the largest distributors across the ACC footprint, when ACC Network launches next week.”