By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I read your story about getting Sling TV to keep watching ESPN. Do you know anything about a 21-day free trial from YouTube TV or a Fubo discount from Spectrum. Are they worth checking out? – Melinda, Los Angeles.
Melinda, the carriage dispute between Charter’s Spectrum TV and Disney is just three days old but it already feels old to the roughly 15 million viewers who are affected by the blackout. They have been scrambling for ways to continue watching their favorite Disney channels, such as ESPN and ABC affiliates in seven markets (including Los Angeles). On Friday, I noted that Sling TV, the live streaming service owned by Dish, has ESPN (and other Disney channels) in its Orange base plan for just $20 for the first month. If the blackout lasts less than a month, you could continue watching the sports network and maintain your Spectrum TV subscription without spending too much more. (The Sling TV sub goes to $40 a month in month two.)

However, since I wrote that article, several readers have said YouTube TV, the live streamer with plans (including ESPN and ABC) starting at $64.99 a month for the first three months, has been handing out three-week free trials over the weekend, likely to take advantage of the Spectrum-Disney debacle. But it appears that not everyone is offered the 21-day freebie. For example, as a former user of YouTube TV’s free trial, I could not get the free three weeks. In fact, I couldn’t get any free trial. Other people on social media have said they only were offered a seven-day free trial. Bottom line: Give it a try. If you get the 21 days, it’s a great deal and you could later combine that with one month of Sling TV to get seven weeks of the blacked-out Disney channels for just $20. But don’t be surprised if the free trial is for fewer days.

Now, Fubo, another live streaming service, has teamed with Spectrum to offer a 30 percent discount for two months on its top tier plan, the Ultimate, which costs $99.99 a month. That brings the Fubo price to $69.99 a month for those two months. The offer has been delivered to Spectrum subscribers via an e-mail. That’s a nice offer, but it would appear that you need to maintain your Spectrum subscription to get the discounted Fubo plan. If that’s the case, why do it? You could just cancel Spectrum, subscribe to YouTube TV separately for $64.99 a month for the first three months, and save money. We’ve asked a Fubo spokeswoman and a Charter spokesman for a clarification and will report back here if we get more information.

Update: A Fubo spokesperson says we need to talk to Charter. A Charter spokesman tells us the company has no comment.

Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann