Disney channels go dark on charter Spectrum amid carriage dispute impacting millions of subscribers

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Disney TV networks, including ABC, ESPN, FX, and Freeform, go dark on Charter Spectrum due to ongoing negotiations, impacting millions of subscribers.

In a significant confrontation, Disney’s TV networks, such as ABC, ESPN, FX, and Freeform, have abruptly disappeared from Charter Spectrum, the nation’s second-largest cable TV provider, affecting 14.7 million subscribers and sparking a clash over carriage terms.

The audience’s reaction to the delay in watching the US Open Tennis Tournament and college football game between Utah and the University of Florida was a mix of frustration and amusement, evident in their lively social media outburst.

Disney confirmed ongoing talks with Charter Communications and said that an agreement with the marketplace hasn’t been reached yet.

The media giant highlighted its history of fruitful deals with various pay-TV providers nationwide, clarifying that the sought-after rates and terms in this renewal reflect market dynamics.

Disney is dedicated to a mutual resolution and urges Charter to cooperate in avoiding customer disruption. In response, Spectrum launched a website presenting its perspective, noting that Disney’s programming removal was causing customer difficulties.

Spectrum contends it extended a fair proposal, but Disney demanded an unreasonable hike. Plus, Spectrum criticized Disney for curbing customer choice by enforcing payments for unwanted channels.

Disney has grappled with carriage disputes lately. Disney’s channels, including ESPN and ABC, faced a blackout on Dish Network and Sling TV last October. A similar situation occurred with YouTube TV in late 2021.

The standoff with Spectrum carries higher stakes due to its vast customer base, rivaling Dish and YouTube TV combined.

Spectrum is poised to surpass Comcast as the largest U.S. pay-TV provider this year.

Spectrum, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, aims to restructure by separating live sports from general entertainment. New packages include options with regional sports networks and national sports channels, along with a cost-effective package excluding them.

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