Spectrum customers can rejoice. Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications have called a truce after a tumultuous dispute over fees: Disney gets more money, and customers can get back to their regularly scheduled programming, sort of.
After an impasse lasting more than 10 days, the companies have agreed Charter will pay higher fees to distribute Disney programming. Although ESPN channels were left unscathed, eight channels have been omitted.
Charter included Disney on Monday in thanking their “mutual customers for their patience this past week.” The company said in a statement it was “pleased that Spectrum viewers once again have access to Disney’s high-quality sports, news and entertainment programming, in time for Monday Night Football.”
Among the changes now in effect: With the purchase of Spectrum TV Select packages, customers receive Disney+ Basic (with ads). Customers who purchase Spectrum TV Select Plus will have ESPN+. And the ESPN flagship direct-to-consumer service, which is yet to launch, will be made available to Spectrum TV Select subscribers.
What won’t be returning to Spectrum’s channel listing includes Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo.
There are other ways to access these channels.
Where can I watch Disney Junior or Freeform?
Most of the channels that have been excluded from the new deal can be found with other TV providers.
- DirecTV allows you to connect to its service using an internet connection or satellite dish. To subscribe with an existing internet connection, packages start at $64.99 a month plus fees — this package includes Disney Junior and Freeform. You can access Baby TV or Nat Geo Mundo for an additional cost.
- Dish TV service requires a satellite dish, and packages start at $79.99 a month for 190 channels. The package comes with Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXX and Nat Geo Wild.
Spectrum’s newly omitted channels can also be accessed through streaming services that connect to a smart TV or connection device such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or Apple TV.
- YouTube TV costs $72.99 a month. It offers more than 100 live and local channels. It has all of these channels with the exception of Baby TV — which can be added for an additional cost — and Nat Geo Mundo.
- Sling TV, a subscription/app-based service, offers packages starting at $20 a month. Families interested in adding channels such as Disney Junior (and five other related channels) can do so for an additional $6. It does not offer Nat Geo Mundo.
- Fubo offers 176 channels in its basic package, which costs $74.99 (additional taxes and fees may apply). It doesn’t offer Nat Geo Mundo, Baby TV or FXM.
- Hulu + Live TV bundles Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ as well as 90 live channels for $69.99 a month. It has all the omitted channels except for Nat Geo Mundo and Baby TV.
What about Baby TV?
Baby TV is not included in the basic package of a number of the options we’ve listed. It may be available at an additional cost, but families can also access the programming through an app subscription. The app, available in the Apple Store or via Google Play, can be downloaded to your tablet or smartphone. It also, for example, could be casted to your smart TV by Chromecast.
There are three subscription options:
- One month for $3.99, plus seven days for free.
- Six months for $21.99, plus 30 days free.
- Twelve months for $39.99, plus 30 days free.