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Disney Pulls ABC, ESPN From Charter-Spectrum

August 31. 2023

Walt Disney Co. pulled its channels, including ABC stations and ESPN, from Charter Spectrum‘s pay-TV service on Thursday in a festering distribution fee dispute.

“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have not yet agreed to a new market-based agreement,” Disney said in a statement. “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 from the ABC Owned Television Stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney-branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels.”

The outage means Spectrum customers immediately lost access to popular programming, including “Jeopardy!” and KABC-TV Channel 7 news. The outage also comes during the first week of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, a highlight for many tennis fans.

Charter Spectrum is the largest pay-TV provider in the Los Angeles region. The service has more than 5 million customers in California.

It’s unclear how long the outage might last, but the start of college and professional football could prompt the two sides to hammer out an agreement.

The Charter Spectrum outage isn’t the only ongoing cable fee dispute. Since early July, DirecTV customers have been without Nexstar TV stations, including KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles.