By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
Disney, which is embroiled in a contentious carriage dispute with Charter’s Spectrum TV cable service, has launched a promotion allowing new and eligible returning customers to subscribe to the ads-included Disney+ for $1.99 a month for three months. The basic streaming service is normally $7.99 a month. If you don’t cancel prior to the end of the three month promotion, you will be billed $7.99 in month four. The $1.99 a month deal is good until September 21, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. ET. The discount comes as Disney+ just added The Little Mermaid, the live action remake of the classic children’s animated movie.

The promotional price also comes a month before Disney+ will increase its ads-free plan from $10.99 a month to $13.99 a month (a 27 percent increase) while Hulu’s ads-free plan will increase from $14.99 a month to $17.99 a month (roughly 20 percent more). In addition, Hulu Live’s ads-included base plan will increase from $69.99 a month to $76.99 a month (10 percent more) while Hulu Live’s plan with no ads on the Video on Demand section will rise from $82.99 a month to $89.99 a month. ESPN+’s monthly sub will increase from $9.99 a month to $10.99 a month. Finally, the ads-included bundle for Disney, Hulu and ESPN+ will rise from $12.99 a month to $14.99 a month and the ads-free bundle will go from $19.99 a month to $24.99 a month. The price increases will go into effect on October 12.

Disney revealed last month that its streaming division lost $512 million in the last quarter, triggering the need for price increases. The company, like other streaming companies, is desperately searching for ways to make streaming profitable. Today’s price break may also buy some goodwill with the public as the carriage dispute with Charter enters its sixth full day.

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— Phillip Swann