Charter will offer Spectrum TV customers access to TelevisaUnivision's ViX

Charter Communications has struck a deal that will make a forthcoming ad-supported version of TelevisaUnivision's streaming service ViX available to its Spectrum TV subscribers as part of their plan.

The deal, announced today, resembles one Charter made with the Walt Disney Company following a week-long carriage dispute, the outcome of which saw Charter agree to pay wholesale prices for two Disney-owned streaming services and incorporate them into some of its newer pay TV plans.

Like the Disney deal, Charter says its agreement with TelevisaUnivision will allow Spectrum TV to continue distributing Univision-owned local television stations across the country, keeping one of the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast brands on its pay TV systems for a few more years.

Some of those channels will be relegated to a new low-cost Spanish-language programming tier that Spectrum TV will launch in the next few months, Charter said on Monday. Precise details about what other channels will be offered in the plan were not available, nor was it clear if the Spanish-language package would be offered on cable TV and Spectrum TV's streaming-only service. In addition to Univision, TelevisaUnivision operates Galavision, TUDN (TelevisaUnivision Deportes Network), FOROtv, Bandamax and Telehit, among others.

"We appreciate TelevisaUnivision’s willingness to fully support our new distribution framework, which is good for customers and a significant step forward for the video ecosystem," Tom Montemagno, the executive vice president of Programming Acquisition at Charter, said on Monday. "With this agreement, our customers will continue to enjoy access to TelevisaUnivision’s extensive Spanish-language programming, including entertainment and live sports, across multiple platforms. This furthers our goal of providing value to customers by including streaming apps with Spectrum services."

The unique model comes as cable and satellite television services grapple with the rising cost of delivering live channels to their subscribers, while simultaneously witnessing a shift of core programming toward network-owned streaming services. While some pay TV providers in recent years have opted to drop channels over higher programming-related fees, Charter said last year it was willing to continue working with broadcasters if it was given the flexibility of dropping lesser-viewed networks, move channels around packages and offer access to streaming services as part of a customer's plan.

Disney initially resisted the idea when its carriage agreement with Charter came up for renewal last fall, opting instead to pull its ABC-owned stations and nearly a dozen Disney-owned national networks like ESPN, FX, Freeform and National Geographic from its line-up. The dispute lasted about a week before Charter and Disney reached a new agreement, one that allowed Charter to drop lower-rated channels like Freeform and FXM while offering complementary access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

The situation with TelevisaUnivision appears to have gone smoother, with none of the channels dropped before both sides reached a new streaming-inclusive carriage deal.

"We’re pleased to enter into an innovative deal with Charter that underscores a shared commitment to the growing Hispanic market and prioritizes their needs and interests, ensuring TelevisaUnivision’s leading content remains available to viewers for years to come," Mike Angus, the executive vice president of Global Distribution and Streaming Partnerships at TelevisaUnivision, said in a statement. "This deal demonstrates the value we can deliver to our partners and consumers by continuing to invest in both the linear and streaming platforms to create a complementary Spanish-language content ecosystem."

Updated to correct an earlier version of this story that stated the name of TelevisaUnivision's streaming service as "ViX Plus."  The Spanish-language streaming service is named "ViX" and the forthcoming ad-supported plan offered to Charter customers  is ViX "Premium with Ads" .