It was a great disappointment and shock to many Florida football fans who utilize Spectrum as their TV provider when they tuned in to ESPN on Thursday only to be met with a message stating that Charter Communications, the company that owns Spectrum, was in a dispute with ESPN and wasn’t going to air the game.
Florida Football: I think I’ve seen this film before
Normally, cable companies and sports networks bicker over money, but it gets resolved before any major disruptions happen.
That isn’t the case with Spectrum and ESPN.
Disney, who owns ESPN, released the following statement:
"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.– The Walt Disney Company Additional points to reference:Charter rejected our multiple offers to extend negotiations before taking our networks down on 8/31.They seem determined to functionally exit the video business with Disney Entertainment and deny millions of paying subscribers access to our content in the process.Contrary to Charter’s claim that only a quarter of their subscribers view Disney’s networks and owned stations, the facts are very different: According to Nielsen, in the average month, 71% of Charter subscribers tune in to Disney’s networks or stations. And, over the past year, Charter subs consumed more than 3.3 billion hours of content.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."
Regardless of who is right and wrong, Florida football fans are stuck in the middle.
The game will be aired on ESPNU and if you are looking for an alternative to get the game, here are some options to explore:
- Streaming services such as Fubo TV, Hulu, or YouTube TV, which have the benefit of not having a contract.
- Sailing the high seas (if you know what we mean)
- If desperate, there is always your local sports bar, though you may want to make sure they, too, aren’t Spectrum customers
- Don’t forget that radio still exists. You can find a list of radio affiliates here.