By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Charter’s Spectrum TV tonight lost 26 Disney channels, including ESPN and ABC-owned local channels in select markets, due to a carriage dispute with Disney, the cable operator announced on its web page. The blackout comes just two days before the first full weekend of college football.
“The Walt Disney Company has removed their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers,” Charter says on the web site. “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 rising cost of programming is the single greatest factor in higher cable TV prices, and we are fighting hard to hold the line on programming rates imposed on us by companies like Disney. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Disney’s web site, KeepMyNetworks.com, which was established to communicate the company’s position in the dispute, has not been updated since the blackout has begun. Disney has also not issued a statement on the blackout as of this writing.
Update: Disney has issued a statement confirming the blackout: “Spectrum TV subscribers no longer have access to our unrivaled portfolio of live sporting events and news coverage plus kids, family and general entertainment programming.” More from Disney: “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.”
The channels removed are: 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 BabyTV. Also gone are the ABC-owned stations in Spectrum TV markets: ABC7 Chicago, ABC7 Los Angeles, ABC7 New York, ABC7 San Francisco, ABC11 Raleigh-Durham, ABC13 Houston, ABC30 Fresno.
The TV Answer Man will update this story if we get more information and/or more comments from Disney and Spectrum TV.
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— Phillip Swann