Disney offers scissors to Charter's customers

Rather than continue the game, Disney has encouraged customers to cut the cord as part of their ongoing cable carriage fees battle with Charter Cable. Disney has been offering a full suite of cable replacement services via streaming for years and has taken to social media to offer Charter subscribers a path to the TV they are missing.

Cable TV without ESPN or any other Disney content is probably not a compelling offer for long. As Cable dies, however, outlets like Fox News and CNN lose much of their revenue and viewers. I for one, have been streaming all my media for years and years.

Even Charter's CEO is saying this is not the normal fight over carriage fees.


Disney released a series of social-media promotions Sunday evening telling Charter subscribers to consider subscribing to Hulu with its live TV option, an offering that would get them dozens of the cable networks they watch via Charter, but also some they don't currently receive — namely outlets owned by Disney. "There's no contract, no cable box, and no wait time to subscribe," Disney said in a blog post Sunday. The company introduced the option, which offers 90 different channels, in 2017.Disney planned to issue the message about Hulu through many of its social-media channels.

Disney's Hulu maneuver represents just the latest bit of wrangling between the two companies, which appear locked in a battle that could upend the media industry. Disney on Thursday yanked its popular TV networks, which include ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, from Charter's Spectrum cable service, which reaches nearly 15 million homes, including many in big markets like New York City and Los Angeles. At issue, the companies say, is Disney's interest in seeking higher rates placed against Charter's desire to gain more flexibility in the way it packages Disney's properties Charter also wants to offer Disney streaming services like Disney+ at no additional cost to its customers — a move that would erode some of the new business Disney has gained with these popular hubs.

"This is not a typical carriage dispute," said Christopher Winfrey, Charter's CEO, during a call with investors Friday morning.