Charter Communications has made good on its promise to offer most Spectrum TV customers with free access to the Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, Disney Plus.
Starting this week, customers with Spectrum TV Select packages will be eligible to receive the ad-inclusive version of Disney Plus as part of their plan, and without any additional cost to them.
“With the launch of the Disney Plus Basic offer, TV Select customers can now enjoy access to Disney’s popular streaming content as well as their high-quality linear TV channels, all included as part of one video package,” Tom Montemagno, the Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition at Charter, said in a statement. “As the video industry continues to evolve, we are committed to including direct-to-consumer apps like Disney Plus with Spectrum services while providing a simplified TV viewing experience through platforms such as the Xumo Stream Box. We are pleased to partner with Disney to further this goal to the benefit of our mutual customers.”
The benefit is part of a multi-year carriage deal between Charter and Disney that includes the continued distribution of most Disney-owned broadcast and cable channels on Spectrum TV. After a short programming blackout triggered by Disney’s insistence on higher fees for its channels, Charter and Disney reached an agreement that allowed some Spectrum TV customers to get access to Disney Plus — and, in the future, ESPN Plus — while affording Charter the option to drop some lesser viewed channels like Nat Geo Wild and Freeform.
Charter’s position was simple: Like other media companies, Disney continues to move more of its premium programming toward its own streaming services, at the detriment of its linear networks. With that in mind, Charter affirmed it was open to a new carriage deal at whatever price Disney wanted it to pay, so long as it had the ability to move channels around packages, drop certain networks and give cable customers access to Disney’s streaming services.
The first part of that plan has now rolled out to customers, who will be able to watch the ad-inclusive version of Disney Plus on the device of their choosing, including Charter’s own Xumo Stream Box. While customers won’t be paying anything more to access Disney Plus, Charter will cover the cost by purchasing access to Disney Plus on a wholesale basis.
“The inclusion of Disney Plus alongside a curated lineup of our TV channels brings the best of both worlds from Disney’s unrivaled entertainment portfolio to Charter’s video customers,” Justin Connolly, the President of Platform Distribution at Disney, said in a statement. “Our goal has always been to meet consumers where they are, and these collective offerings will maximize value for Spectrum TV Select customers while simultaneously broadening the audience of our advertiser supported streaming services.”
Spectrum TV customers with eligible plans can learn more about the Disney Plus perk and sign up to receive access to the streaming service by clicking or tapping here.