Disney is teaming up with Charter Communications in an effort to prevent multiple people from using the same account to access streaming services. The second biggest cable company in the US has struck up a new distribution agreement with Disney, which involves Hulu, ESPN+ and the upcoming Disney+ service.
As part of the agreement, customers will still be able to buy these services directly from Disney, but there will also be an option to buy them through Charter’s Spectrum TV service. If users go via the latter route, the companies will then work together to prevent them from sharing a login with friends and family. In an announcement, Disney and Charter said they were going to ‘work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.’
This agreement will also let Charter keep providing Disney-owned TV channels on its cable service, such as ABC, FX, National Geographic, and of course the Disney and ESPN channel offerings.
When asked by Ars Technica how the companies would be fighting account sharing, Charter stated that ‘we don’t have details to share at this time’. However, the motivation for the measure is clear – Charter CEO Tom Rutlege has complained about account sharing a number of times in the past, saying that password sharing has helped people to get out of paying for cable TV. Similarly, ESPN has been known to complain about account sharing before, referring to it as piracy.
Charter has 15.8 million residential TV customers across the nation, which puts it in second place after Comcast in terms of cable TV service size. However, the company has lost 400,000 video customers over the past 12 months, while the broadband service has risen by 23.1 million to 24.2 million in the same time period.
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