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Cable subscribers get ESPN back in time for Monday Night Football

The new agreement means that Spectrum customers will have access to several streaming services included in their subscriptions.
Cable subscribers get ESPN back in time for Monday Night Football
Posted at 11:30 AM, Sep 11, 2023

After an 11-day blackout, Disney-owned networks are back on Spectrum TV. 

At the end of August, ESPN, the Disney Channel and other networks owned and operated by Disney were pulled from Spectrum TV. According to Cordcutting, Spectrum is the second-largest cable provider in the U.S. with 18.4 million subscribers. 

The blackout meant that Spectrum cable customers missed the first two weeks of ESPN's college football broadcasts and much of its U.S. Open tennis coverage. 

Until Monday, subscribers who turned to a Disney-owned channel on Spectrum were given a screen that claimed Disney was demanding an "excessive increase" carriage fees. 

"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 said. "Spectrum is on your side and fighting to keep costs down while protecting and maximizing customer choice."

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Spectrum said the following networks were affected: 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 and BabyTV. 

As part of the agreement, Spectrum TV Select subscribers will receive Disney+ Basic. ESPN+ will be provided to Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers, the companies said. 

The two companies issued a joint statement at the end of the impasse. 

“Our collective goal has always been to build an innovative model for the future," the joint statement read. "This deal recognizes both the continued value of linear television and the growing popularity of streaming services while addressing the evolving needs of our consumers. We also want to thank our mutual customers for their patience this past week and are pleased that Spectrum viewers once again have access to Disney’s high-quality sports, news and entertainment programming, in time for Monday Night Football.”

During the impasse, Spectrum noted that many cable viewers have left traditional cable and that a traditional long-term agreement does not meet consumer needs. 

It is unclear if the new agreement will come at an added cost to consumers.

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