September 21, 2023

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Disney, Charter reach agreement to end ESPN, ABC blackout

Disney had been pressing for an increase in the amount Charter pays to carry its channels. Charter, the No. 2 US cable provider, wanted more freedom to offer packages without ESPN and wanted to include Disney streaming services like Hulu and ESPN+ for free.

Shares of Disney rose as much as 2.9% to $83.85 in trading in New York. Charter added as much as 3.5% to $437.35.

Disney pulled its channels, including ABC and Nat Geo, off the Charter systems late last month after the two sides failed to reach an new distribution agreement. Charter, which operates under the Spectrum brand, provides TV service in major cities like New York and Los Angeles.

The dispute meant many Charter customers couldn’t watch the US Open tennis tournament or college football as the new season began. Channels went dark in the middle of a US Open match between Lloyd Harris and Carlos Alcaraz, the Spanish tennis star who went on to reach the semifinals. The finals weren’t available to Charter customers.


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