Disney/Charter Fight About to Get Worse As Politicians Chime In

Politicians Chime in on Disney/Charter Feud
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Credit: UNC Charlotte Official Flickr/ Disney/ Emily's List Flickr

Football. Period. End of sentence. It is by far the most popular sport in America. When a football game comes on TV, it dwarfs everything else. This Thursday was the opening night of the NFL season, as the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Detroit Lions. Nearly 27 million people watched the game on NBC, while only 4.5 million watched anything else on cable television.

Disney wasn't prepared for Spectrum fight

Credit: Disney/ Spectrum

Related: Spectrum Has Been Preparing For This Fight With Disney For Years

But many Charter Communications customers lost their football. Charter is currently in a dispute with Disney over money and the future of over-the-air cable television. Charter would like to offer its Spectrum customers options for custom channel packages that don’t include Disney-owned ESPN. The Walt Disney Company makes billions off of the fees it receives from cable companies and does not want to make any changes. This fight could define the future of cable television.

But while these two billion-dollar corporations fight, the customers suffer without football. Disney removed ESPN and all other Disney-owned channels during the Florida/Utah college football game, blacking out college football for Spectrum’s 14.5 million customers.

Spectrum Disney TV bundle

But with the NFL season starting this week, Spectrum customers will be without ESPN for Monday Night Football. And this Monday, the New York Jets are playing the Buffalo Bills. This has caught the attention of New York Governor Kathy Hochul, as the loss of this game affects two separate parts of her constituents.

Hochul has authorized the New York Department of Public Service to secure refunds from Charter for the state’s 1.5 million households who are Spectrum customers.

Hochul said in a statement:

It’s simple: if you pay your cable bill, you deserve to get the services you pay for. An ongoing corporate dispute is forcing customers to miss some of the highest profile televised events of the year – the least these companies can do is provide a refund. Disney and Charter must continue negotiating in good faith to ensure affordability and consumer choice. I also urge Disney to continue providing its programming under the terms of the prior agreement while negotiations continue.

Further south, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sent letters to Charter Communications and the Walt Disney Company urging them to resolve this issue immediately. Spectrum is the predominant cable provider in the Tar Heel State, so fans missed out on North Carolina, Wake Forest, and NC State’s football games this weekend. They also missed out on Duke’s upset win over Clemson.

Disney and Spectrum agreement

Credit: Spectrum

Streaming services have decimated cable companies as customers cut the cord. Charter Spectrum and other cable TV companies have lost 25 million subscribers over the last five years as viewers cut the cord. 

During this feud, Charter’s cable subscribers have lost access to Disney’s networks, including ESPN, the National Geographic Channel, ABC, and the Disney Channel. They have also lost access to Disney’s sports content.

With both companies digging in, there does not seem to be an end in sight. Disney has offered discounted Hulu Live subscriptions to Spectrum customers, while Charter offers discounts to YouTube TV for the NFL season.

But even with politicians weighing in, this fight continues with customers stuck in the middle.

We will continue to update this news at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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