Disney channels stay on Time Warner Cable as talks go past deadline
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Although Time Warner Cable’s deal to carry cable and broadcast channels owned by Walt Disney Co. has expired, the programming remains on the air as both sides continue talks.
That means Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles and New York, the two biggest markets that the pay TV distributor has systems in, will continue to receive their local ABC stations or Disney-owned cable channels, including ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel -- at least for the time being. An update is expected by 6 a.m. Eastern time.
At issue are fees that Disney wants Time Warner Cable to pay to continue to have access to its various networks. The current contract between the two companies expired at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 2.
However, unlike previous spats between distributors and programmers, talks between Time Warner Cable and Disney have seemingly remained amicable. Although both sides had run advertisements alerting consumers of the situation and stating their positions, neither were running the particularly nasty attack advertisements that Fox and Time Warner Cable ran when they were locked in a similar dispute late last year.
With 14.4 million subscribers, Time Warner Cable is the nation’s third-largest pay-TV distributor behind Comcast Corp. and DirecTV. It has systems in several major markets including New York and Los Angeles. It has over 2 million subscribers in Southern California alone.
-- Joe Flint