By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I am a Spectrum TV customer in Los Angeles and I was thinking of doing the Fubo offer from them but do you have to keep your Spectrum TV sub if you do? I don’t want two TV subscriptions! — Alexis, Los Angeles.
Alexis, as you know, the Spectrum TV-Disney carriage dispute today enters its fourth full day with no end in sight. Spectrum TV customers are still missing the 26 Disney-owned channels, including ABC affiliates in seven markets and ESPN. Subscribers are understandably mad and Disney yesterday claimed that people trying to cancel are experiencing three-hour phone waits.

However, Charter, which owns Spectrum TV, yesterday made what seemed to be an unprecedented subscriber offer in the history of carriage battles. The company sent an e-mail to its customers offering them a discount on the Fubo live streaming service. Spectrum TV subs can get a 30 percent discount on Fubo’s Ultimate plan, which brings the price from $99.99 to $69.99, and a 25 percent discount on the Fubo Pro plan, which lowers that plan’s price from $74.99 to $56.24. The two Fubo plans include the missing ESPN, ABC affiliates, and other Disney channels. (The discounted price is good for the first two months; regular prices start in month three.)

I’ve covered carriage disputes for more years than I would like to remember, and I don’t recall a TV provider ever offering its customers a discount to another TV provider during a channel blackout. But does the Fubo offer require you to keep your Spectrum TV subscription while you subscribe to Fubo at the discounted price? That would make the offer more understandable from Charter’s perspective, but much less attractive to Spectrum subscribers. Yesterday when we learned of the e-mail offer, neither Charter nor Fubo would comment on whether you have to keep both subscriptions.

But this morning, the TV Answer Man has learned that you do NOT have to maintain your Spectrum TV subscription to take advantage of the Fubo discount. Let me repeat that: You could now subscribe to Fubo for 30 or 25 percent off via Spectrum TV – and then cancel your Spectrum TV subscription if you prefer. The company is actually inviting you to cancel its subscription to sign up for another company. As I said before, this is unprecedented and extraordinary and shows Charter’s willingness to take extraordinary steps during this dispute. The company says it wants to dramatically change the way TV service is offered and packaged and the Fubo deal certainly provides evidence of that.

Last note: The Fubo deal is not available to non-Spectrum TV customers.

Alexis, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann