If you have Spectrum cable and you tried to watch anything on a Disney-owned network Thursday evening, chances are you got an eerie message on your screen. That’s because every single one of Disney’s networks have gone dark across the United States’ No. 2 cable TV service.
“The Walt Disney Company, the owner of this channel, has removed their programming from Spectrum, which creates hardship for our customers,” the first part of the message reads. “We apologize for the inconvenience and are continuing to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a fair agreement.”
Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum, had reportedly been locked into a distribution dispute for a few weeks. With the international U.S. Open currently underway and football season right around the corner, the timing couldn’t be worse.
ESPN, arguably the biggest sports network in the nation, is just one of the many channels unavailable to current customers. Others include FX, Freeform, and even the news network ABC.
The cable network did warn its customers of a potential outage though. Spots ran during ESPN’s initial coverage of the U.S. Open Thursday night. However, all of the stations went dark at approximately 8PM EST.
One Spectrum customer we spoke with was extremely frustrated with the decision to pull the plug on all the networks, especially because it’s right before Labor Day weekend. “Most of those executives are on vacation already,” she said, implying that an agreement would most likely not be made until sometime next week.
“Spectrum is on your side and fighting to keep costs down while protecting and maximizing customer choice,” another one of the slides playing across all Disney networks reads. “Our negotiations are about one thing – reaching an agreement that is fair to our customers. We understand this an inconvenience and hope to return this programming soon.”
All Spectrum customers are encouraged to voice their concerns at DisneyESPNFairDeal.com.
All of the Disney-owned channels currently unavailable to Spectrum customers include:
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, BabyTV ABC On Demand programming, and the following local ABC stations: ABC7 Chicago, ABC7 Los Angeles, ABC7 New York, ABC7 San Francisco, ABC11 Raleigh-Durham, ABC13 Houston, ABC30 Fresno.