In a significant carriage dispute, Disney’s TV channels, including ABC, ESPN, FX and Freeform, have gone dark on Charter Spectrum, the country’s second-largest cable TV provider, with 14.7 million subscribers.
The blackout happened at a critical time, with ESPN’s networks broadcasting both the U.S. Open tennis tournament (in the middle of star Carlos Alcaraz’s match), as well as a college football game between Utah and the University of Florida.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have not yet agreed to a new market-based agreement,” Disney said in a statement Thursday. “As a result, their 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 from the ABC Owned Television Stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels. 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.”
More to come.
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