Disney and Charter reach multiyear carriage agreement

Key Points
  • Charter and Disney reach multiyear carriage deal, avoiding a blackout of networks including ESPN and ABC.
  • Charter plans to integrate Disney's streaming services into its set-top box, sources say. 
  • Charter will carry the new ESPN-owned ACC Network as part of the agreement. 
The Walt Disney Company CEO, Robert Iger arrives for the World premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles.
VALERIE MACON | AFP | Getty Images

Charter and Disney have reached a multiyear carriage agreement, avoiding a blackout of networks including ESPN and ABC.

Charter has agreed to carry the ACC Network, a new network in the ESPN family, as part of the deal, according to a joint statement from the companies.

Charter is also planning to integrate ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+ into its set-top boxes to give pay-TV subscribers more seamless access to that programming, assuming they're also subscribers to the Disney streaming services, according to people familiar with the matter.

While it was unlikely Charter would risk blacking out ESPN, the most expensive cable network, a deal may put pressure on other pay-TV distributors, such as Comcast, Dish and Cox, to include the ACC Network in its cable packages. The ACC Network will carry college football and basketball games, including defending college football national champion Clemson's opening game against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29. The network officially launches on Aug. 22.

The agreement marks the first major renewal deal Disney has struck since it announced its trio of streaming services earlier this year. Disney+ will debut on Nov. 12.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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