Back on Thursday, Spectrum Cable customers were not able to watch the matchup between the Florida Gators and Utah Utes on ESPN. Instead, all Disney-owned channels went dark as Spectrum Cable pulled the plug on Disney programming after Disney “[demanded] an excessive increase”. Spectrum launched a webpage outlining their side of the dispute, and now Disney has responded with a press release today:
Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the biggest sports weekends of the year. Viewers sit down to watch the anticipated return of college football and enjoy the tennis battles at the US Open.
Unfortunately, for millions of Spectrum cable viewers this has not been the case this holiday weekend, since ESPN and other Disney-owned channels like ABC are blacked out due to a dispute between Spectrum’s parent company—Charter Communications—and Disney Entertainment.
Disputes between cable companies and content providers aren’t new. However, millions of consumers may find themselves perplexed and frustrated by what’s going on.
To cut through the noise, here are some important points to consider as the dispute disrupts one of the biggest TV weekends of the year:
- Losing ESPN is a major issue for consumers since it’s one of the most popular channels. In fact, ESPN aired more than half (53) of the top 100 telecasts in Charter homes during the past year, per Nielsen, the leading audience measurement, data and analytics company. That includes all 5 of the top 5.
- In the average month, 71% of Charter subscribers tune into Disney’s networks or stations. In fact, Charter subscribers watched more than 3.3 billion hours of content on Disney networks and stations over the past year, according to Nielsen.
- Although Charter claims that they value their customers, they declined Disney’s offer to extend negotiations which would have kept Disney-owned networks up for consumers in the middle of perennial programming events like the US Open and college football.
- Even though Charter also claims to value Disney’s direct-to-consumer services, the cable company is demanding these different services for free—as they have stated publicly—which does not make economic sense. Moreover, it does not make sense for consumers who desire the flexibility to have our streaming platforms as standalone services.
Labor Day weekend is supposed to be one of the more relaxing holidays of the year in the U.S. Unfortunately, Charter has made it a stressful one for its customers—many of whom have been experiencing up to three-hour hold times to cancel their cable subscription after Disney’s networks went dark.
Disney deeply values its relationship with its viewers and is hopeful Charter is ready to have more conversations that will restore access to its content to Spectrum customers as quickly as possible.
Consumers should also know that they have many options today and can choose from competing pay TV providers that offer Disney’s entire portfolio of networks and programming, as well as TV streaming services that can be accessed by downloading an app or over a broadband connection.
For more details, go to https://keepmynetworks.com/
Spectrum said the following channels are impacted by the dispute:
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, BabyTV
ABC On Demand programming and the following local ABC stations: ABC7 Chicago, ABC7 Los Angeles, ABC7 New York, ABC7 San Francisco, ABC11 Raleigh-Durham, ABC13 Houston, ABC30 Fresno.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!