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Disney executives assure staff of their commitment to FXX, freeform

Just hours before the return of Monday Night Football, Disney announced it had made a brand-new transformative, multiyear distribution agreement with Charter Communications to bring many of Disney’s linear channels, including FX, National Geographic, Disney Channel, ABC and ESPN, to its Spectrum cable customers. It was also announced that in the coming months, Disney+ Basic (ad-supported) will be provided to customers who purchase the Spectrum TV Select package, as part of a wholesale arrangement and that ESPN+ will also be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers.

Disney’s linear channels were removed from Spectrum Cable earlier this month over a carriage dispute. Charter Communications had called the traditional cable system broken and wanted to change how things worked moving forward, or it could even look at leaving the television business. Charter wanted access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ included in their bundles, since they believed that cable customers were being charged twice for access to content and funding original programming.

The dispute has now been resolved, and many of the Disney core channels have been restored. However, not all of them have been. With Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo, no longer being available on Spectrum.

This has instantly resulted in there being questions about the future of these channels, many of which have already been closed down internationally, as Disney shifted its priorities to Disney+. Without the Spectrum cable customers, the overall reach of these channels has now been reduced by 20%, and it’s expected that other cable providers will be trying to make similar negotiations whenever their deals are up.

While this memo might put some fears at rest that the channels aren’t going anywhere right now, but with Disney now focusing its linear attention on its core channels and after Bob Iger’s comments earlier this year about linear channels no longer being core to their business and looking to potentially sell some of them. It’s likely we are going to see some changes to those dropped channels moving forward with some shows like “Archer” or “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” shifting over from FXX to FX, and similarly with new Nat Geo Wild and Disney Junior shows. Whatsondisneyplus

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