The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications have signed a new distribution agreement. Aside from providing more Disney content to Charter subscribers, the companies will also join forces to combat piracy. What this collaboration will entail remains unknown for now, but it’s an interesting step, especially since Charter is currently involved in a major piracy liability lawsuit.
With roughly 22 million subscribers, Charter Communications is one of the largest Internet providers in the US.
The company operates under the Spectrum brand and offers a wide variety of services including TV and Internet access.
In an effort to provide more engaging content to its customers, this week Charter signed a major new distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company.
The new partnership will provide the telco’s customers with access to popular titles in Disney’s services, including Hulu, ESPN+ and the yet-to-be-launched streaming service Disney+.
The fact that these giant companies have teamed-up is a big deal, business-wise and for consumers. Most Spectrum subscribers will likely be pleased to have more options, but there may also be a subgroup that has concerns.
Away from the major headline, both companies also state that they have agreed to partner up on piracy mitigation.
“This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content […] and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” says Tom Montemagno, EVP, Programming Acquisition for Charter.
The public press releases give no concrete details of what this “piracy mitigation” will entail. It does mention that the two companies will work together to “implement business rules” and address issues such as “unauthorized access and password sharing.”
TorrentFreak reached out to Charter for further details, but the company said that it’s not elaborating beyond the press release at this time.
The term “mitigating” suggests that both companies will actively work together to reduce piracy. This is interesting because Charter is currently caught up in a major piracy liability lawsuit in a US federal court in Colorado.
Earlier this year the Internet provider was sued by several music companies which argued that the company turned a blind eye to piracy by failing to terminate accounts of repeat infringers. In addition, Charter stands accused of willingly profiting from these alleged copyright infringements.
Charter’s new agreement with Disney suggests that there could be a more proactive anti-piracy stance going forward. One possibility might be a more strict repeat infringer policy but, without further details, it remains unclear what the “piracy mitigation” entails precisely.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how the two companies plan to put a dent in current piracy levels, and what that means for Charter customers.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.