ABC30, ESPN and other cable channels pulled off Spectrum amid negotiations

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Thursday, September 7, 2023
WABC-TV, ESPN and other cable channels pulled off Spectrum amid negotiations
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Spectrum customers have lost their ability to watch programming on ABC7 and other Disney stations, including ESPN and FX.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Disney says that the company is in negotiations with Charter Communications for a new agreement after Disney pulled ESPN, ABC and other cable channels off Charter-owned Spectrum's cable service.

Spectrum TV subscribers no longer have access to Disney's portfolio of live sporting events, news coverage and entertainment programming, the company said.

Disney cable networks on Spectrum's cable service went dark on Thursday, August 31, 2023, in the middle of the live coverage of the U.S. Open match on ESPN, leaving only a black screen.

Cable operator Charter Communications serves more than 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand, according to its website. Disney says that it "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."

Charter released a statement saying, "We are disappointed with The Walt Disney Company's decision to remove their networks from our lineup and deny our customers the opportunity to watch. The current video ecosystem is broken. With The Walt Disney Company, we have proposed a model that creates better alignment for the industry and better choices for our customers. We are hopeful we can find a path forward."

The Walt Disney Company released a new statement regarding the dispute on Thursday, September 7:

"As the US Open reaches the men's and women's finals, and fans gear up for a weekend of college football and the opening of the NFL season, it's unfortunate that Charter decided to abandon their consumers by denying them access to our great programming. While they have stated their "indifference" to the needs of millions of paying customers, we will not lose sight of what is most important - investing in the highest-quality stories, news and sports for our audience. The question for Charter is clear: Do you care about your subscribers and what they're telling you they want - or not? Disney stands ready to resolve this dispute and do what's in the best interest of Charter's customers."

Previously, Disney issued this statement when the networks went dark:

"Charter has refused to enter into a new agreement with us that reflects market-based terms. Contrary to their claims, we have offered Charter the most favorable terms on rates, distribution, packaging, advertising and more. We have proposed creative ways to make Disney's direct-to-consumer services available to their Spectrum TV subscribers, including opportunities for new and flexible packages where those services become a focal point of what the consumer might choose. Although Charter claims to value our direct-to-consumer services, they are demanding these services for free as they have stated publicly. Charter is depriving consumers of that content because they are failing to ascribe any value in exchange for licensing those services. Our linear channels and direct-to-consumer services are not one and the same, per Charter's assertions, but rather complementary products. We continue to invest in original content that premieres exclusively on our linear networks, including live sports, news and appointment viewing programming. "Likewise, on our direct-to-consumer services, we make multi-billion-dollar investments in exclusive content, which is incremental to our linear networks. "We offered Charter an extension in the negotiations to keep our networks up and they declined in the middle of programming that is important to their subscribers, including the US Open. Charter's actions are a disservice to consumers ahead of the kickoff for the college football season on ABC and ESPN's networks. We value our relationship with Charter and we are ready to get back to the negotiation table to restore access to our unrivaled content to their customers as quickly as possible."

Disney provided additional information its website.

There's no word on when or if a deal will be reached. If you are impacted by the outage, please contact Spectrum directly at (855) 366-7132 or go to

You can watch ABC30 Action News on, by downloading our app on your mobile phone or connected TV or on Hulu.

Disney is the parent company of KFSN-TV.

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