The Walt Disney Co. and Charter Communications reached an agreement that will restore ESPN to Spectrum cable just in time for the first "Monday Night Football" game of the NFL season.
ESPN, ABC and other Disney channels disappeared from Charter's cable service on Aug. 31 after the companies failed to reach an agreement over channel fees and how to package them.
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The Walt Disney Co.
Charter announced the deal Monday, saying most of Disney's networks and stations would be available for Spectrum video customers immediately.
The deal comes just hours before the "Monday Night Football" game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills is set to air on ESPN. Without it, Spectrum subscribers in New York City would have been unable to watch the game via the cable service provider.
"This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services, while addressing the evolving needs of our consumers," Disney CEO Bob Iger and Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said in a joint statement.
Charter previously paid Disney more than $2.2 billion annually for the right to distribute the media giant's channels to subscribers. The terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
Companies like Charter say rising distribution fees are forcing cable companies to increase prices, causing consumers to leave. Disney counts on fees from companies such as Charter pay to partly cover rising programming costs, including the rights to air sports such as the NFL and NBA.
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Charter Communications, Inc.
Charter said under the new agreement, Spectrum customers will still have access to 19 Disney-owned networks, including ABC-owned television stations, the Disney Channel, FX, the Nat Geo Channel, and the full ESPN network suite. But some Disney-owned channels will no longer be available on Spectrum, including Baby TV, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Wild, and Nat Geo Mundo.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This story has been updated to clarify how Spectrum customers would be affected if a deal was not reached