August 16, 2019
US cable TV operator Charter Communications announced a new distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company on August 14, in which Charter and Disney will collaborate “to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”
Charter’s Spectrum TV service will expand on its current Disney-owned programming lineup by adding sports programming, and will also distribute Disney streaming services that include Hulu, the upcoming Disney+ service and ESPN+.
Why it matters
While credential sharing can be an avenue to rights infringement, some will argue that such sharing in itself isn’t piracy (if we define piracy as the direct theft and redistribution of the content).
Distinctions aside, operators and content providers remain keen to stem revenue-leakage from the unauthorized use of valuable video content and will put technologies and practices in place to help prevent it. From the content owner’s point of view, sports programming has proven to be the biggest victim.
Different operators and video content providers have different thresholds on the number of users or simultaneous streams they allow for consumers. Some will tacitly place no limits on account sharing, either because they see limited sharing as a marketing tool, or because they have consciously (or unconsciously) elected not to put limits or safeguards in place.