ESPN, ABC and Other Disney Channels Go Dark on Charter Spectrum



ESPN, ABC, Disney Channel and other outlets owned by the Walt Disney Co. have gone dark on Charter Spectrum cable systems, which serve nearly 15 million subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and other major markets.

Disney channels were pulled off Charter systems on Thursday afternoon about 5 p.m. PT after the sides failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage pact.

More than 25 networks are affected, including ABC-owned television stations, ESPN and its sibling channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic.

The Walt Disney Company has removed their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers. We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase,” Spectrum said in a statement, bolding the word “excessive.” “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 disputed Charter’s characterization, noting that it has numerous “successful deals in place with pay TV providers of all types and sizes across the country.”

“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have not yet agreed to a new market-based agreement,” Disney stated. “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,” the statement reads. “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.”


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