ESPN, FX, Disney Channel and ABC Locals Goes Dark on Spectrum Cable TV as Disney Talks Break Down





Spectrum said Disney has removed its programming.

“The Walt Disney Company has removed their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers,” the company said on its site.

It’s an inopportune time since College Football Week One gets underway tonight on ESPN. Here’s how to watch the ESPN networks if you don’t have access through Spectrum.

Last night, Spectrum started warning customers that the service could lose Disney-owned channels such as ESPN, FX and several ABC-owned local stations. The cable company, owned by Charter Communications, posted on its the DisneyESPNFairDeal site that it had “offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase.”

This marks the latest dust-up between a media company and pay-TV provider, a more common occurrence with the opposing parties battling over the rising cost of programming. DIRECTV, for instance, is still in a dispute with Nexstar that had resulted in more than 150 local affiliates remaining dark for nearly two months.

The two sides maintained throughout Thursday that they were working to resolve the gap. The deadline for an agreement was at 5 p.m. ET today, but was extended to 8 p.m. ET.

Shortly after the 8 p.m. deadline, Spectrum updated its page to confirm Disney had pulled its content from the cable provider and add more information.

“They also want to limit our ability to provide greater customer choice in programming packages forcing you to take and pay for channels you may not want,” Spectrum said.

A Spectrum spokesman told Cord Cutters News in an email that Disney was trying to force its customers to pay for “their very expensive programming, even those customers who don’t want it or worse, can’t afford it.”

“The current video ecosystem is broken,” he said. “With The Walt Disney Company, we have proposed a model that creates better alignment for the industry and better choices for our customers. We are hopeful we can find a path forward.”

On a Friday call with investors, Spectrum laid out its desire to get more flexibility on bundles while also requesting that its subscribers get free access to Disney’s upcoming ESPN streaming service.

Disney, meanwhile, said it was confident a deal would get done eventually.

“Disney Entertainment has successful deals in place with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country, and the rates and terms we are seeking in this renewal are driven by the marketplace. We’re committed to reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution with Charter and we urge them to work with us to minimize the disruption to their customers.”

Spectrum’s customer service account on X (formerly Twitter) had been fielding questions about this all day, repeatedly asking for patience as it worked through the discussions.

Those discussions apparently have hit a wall.

A spokesman for Disney wasn’t available for comment.

Here are the channels that are affected.

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN Deportes
  • ESPN News
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network
  • Longhorn Network
  • FX
  • FX Movie Channel
  • FXX
  • Freeform
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Nat Geo Mundo
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XDBaby TV
  • ABC7 Chicago
  • ABC7 Los Angeles
  • ABC7 New York
  • ABC7 San Francisco
  • ABC11 Raleigh-Durham
  • ABC13 Houston
  • ABC30 Fresno

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