Disney and Charter Communications announced a “transformative” deal on Monday, ending a high-profile battle over the future of cable television that has major implications for the so-called streaming wars in a historic double whammy in Hollywood.

Charter took the unprecedented step of blocking all Disney-owned channels for its cable customers, something previously unthinkable considering it owns ABC, one of the traditional big three broadcast channels, and cable sports giant ESPN step.

In the deal, Charter received its main request: free access to Disney’s streaming service for its customers. According to the announcement, all Charter cable customers will now have access to the ad-supported versions of Disney+ and ESPN+.

Charter customers will also get free access to the upcoming direct-to-consumer version of ESPN when it launches, which is the first sign that the highly anticipated DTC version of ESPN is indeed in development. No timetable for the launch of the new ESPN service was provided.

Disney CEO calls the agreement an “innovation model for the future.”

(This is a breaking news update and will be updated.)


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