15 million Spectrum cable users still without access to Disney owned channels

Published 1:54 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

By Olivia Johnson, LaGrange (Ga.) Daily News

Having a hard time watching ESPN or your favorite Disney associated channels? According to the Associated Press, nearly 15 million cable viewers lost access to ESPN, ABC and other Disney-owned channels over Labor Day weekend when Disney and Spectrum Communications failed to renew a distribution deal. Instead of watching the games from the first weekend of the college football season, subscribers to Spectrum’s ‘s cable TV service, encountered an error message where the channel should be.

Distribution disputes, involving what telecommunications companies will pay to carry specific networks on their systems, are not uncommon. However, negotiations can be lengthy and can turn ugly when companies in play can’t come to an agreement. Alfred Whitaker said he pays a lot for cable and to suddenly not have channels he pays for is ridiculous. “I hate that this came when I just paid my bill. I pay $250 a month for cable and internet and to not have the basic channels because they can’t come to an agreement is crazy,” Whitaker said. “I hope that this works itself out soon because I’d hate to move to another company. Spectrum is good to have but it’s expensive to keep — especially if they don’t bring back ESPN.”

Roger Strickland said if Spectrum doesn’t work something out, it would mean yet another streaming service to pay for. “I already pay for Hulu, Netflix and Max. I don’t really want to pay for an extra service just to watch cable. With how much I pay for streaming and cable, it’s nuts how they can just disconnect the channels because of money,” Strickland said. “I am a good customer and don’t want to cut cable loose but I just might with all this going on.” Sarah Tyson, said Spectrum/Disney dispute an amusing thing to watch play out.

“I don’t have cable right now because of how expensive it is. I usually pick a streaming service and switch out every month depending on what I want to watch,” Tyson said. “I think all this comes down to money, which I think is ridiculous because both have millions coming in. I do think they will come to an agreement though. Once enough people start complaining and cutting services, they will work something out.”