By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Charter’s Spectrum TV could lose the Disney suite of channels, including ESPN and ABC-owned local channels in select markets, unless the two companies agree to a new carriage pact. The blackout could begin as early as 5 p.m. ET today. The potential blackout comes two days from the first full weekend of college football. Spectrum TV’s viewers are now seeing alerts posted on the Disney channels and both Spectrum TV and Disney have established web sites to communicate their positions to viewers.
“We’re working hard to make sure some of America’s most watched networks such as the ESPN networks, including the ACC Network and SEC Network, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels stay available to Spectrum TV customers,” Disney says at the web site, Keepmynetworks.com. “If we don’t reach a new agreement with Spectrum soon, some of your favorite shows may be gone from your lineup including SportsCenter and exclusive live sports such as Monday Night Football and college football plus Mickey Mouse Funhouse, 31 Nights of Halloween, American Horror Story, Welcome to Wrexham, Life Below Zero and much more.”
Spectrum TV’s web site, DisneyESPNFairDeal.com, says: “The Walt Disney Company has threatened to remove their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers. We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase. 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 is on your side and fighting to keep costs down while protecting and maximizing customer choice.”
The cable operator says the following Disney-owned channels could be removed if a new carriage agreement is not reached: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, 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 XD, and Baby TV. In addition, Spectrum TV subscribers could lose the following ABC stations: ABC7 Chicago, ABC7 Los Angeles, ABC7 New York, ABC7 San Francisco, ABC11 Raleigh-Durham, ABC13 Houston, and ABC30 Fresno.
The TV Answer Man will monitor this dispute and report back here if anything significant changes.
Meanwhile, Spectrum TV subscribers are already posting angry complaints on social media sites, such as X:
@Ask_Spectrum please keep ESPN, freeform, FX, and Disney Channel, or we will be canceling our spectrum account
— Caite Maritato (@caitemckee) August 31, 2023
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann