ESPN, ABC and other Disney channels disappear on Charter Spectrum – Variety

The outage comes amid the US Open and the opening weekend of college football

ESPN, ABC, Disney Channels and other outlets owned by Walt Disney Co. have discontinued Charter Spectrum cable systems, which serve nearly 15 million subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and other major markets.

Disney Channels was pulled from Charter’s systems Thursday afternoon around 5 p.m. PT after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage agreement.

More than 25 networks were affected, including television stations owned by ABC, Freeform, FX and National Geographic. The blackout began during the highly anticipated US Open match between Carlos Alcaraz and Lloyd Harris, which was broadcast by ESPN. The timing couldn’t be worse for college football fans, coming in the opening weekend of the season. ESPN has an extensive slate of college games scheduled for Thursday and Saturday.

Spectrum customers eager to watch Thursday night’s highly anticipated meeting between the University of Florida’s Florida Gators and the University of Utah’s Florida Gators game on ESPN were sorely disappointed when they found a listing card from the Charter announcing that it was “struggling to cut costs” and trying to “come out” A fair deal” with Disney trying to “limit our ability to offer customers greater choice in programming,” the company said. But the ESPN blackout came without the usual accumulation of warnings on the air and in media coverage about a possible contract break in the near future. This led to some angry reactions posted on social media.

“The Walt Disney Company has removed its programming from Spectrum which is creating hardship for our customers. We offered Disney a fair deal, but they are asking for an excessive premium,” Spectrum said in a statement. “They also want to limit our ability to provide customers greater choice in programming packages.” , forcing you to accept and pay for channels you may not want. Spectrum stands with you and strives to reduce costs while protecting and maximizing customer choices. The rising cost of programming is the single biggest factor in rising cable TV prices, and we struggle hard to maintain the programming prices that companies like Disney charge us. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Disney objected to Charter’s characterization, stating that it had many “successful deals with pay-TV providers of all types and sizes across the country”.

Disney stated, “We have been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have yet to agree on a new market-based agreement.” “As a result, Spectrum TV subscribers can no longer access our unparalleled selection of live sports and news coverage as well as children’s, family and general entertainment programming. The pricing and terms we are pursuing in this renewal are market driven. We are committed to reaching an agreed solution “Mutually agree with Charter and urge them to work with us to minimize inconvenience to their customers.”

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