If you are a Charter Spectrum customer trying to access channels such as ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel stations, you have seen the blue screen and QR code appear instead of your usual programming. The code links to a landing page that talks about the Walt Disney Co.’s decision to pull programming from the cable TV provider.
Beginning Sept. 1, Walt Disney Co. pulled its channels, including ESPN and ABC, from Charter Communications’ Spectrum pay-TV — a direct result of a growing dispute over pricing that could ultimately change the way viewers access television entertainment.
In a statement, Charter Communications said “the current video ecosystem is broken.”
“With The Walt Disney Co., we have delivered a model that creates better alignment for the industry and better choices for our customers,” the statement read. “We hope we can find a way forward. »
The litigation affects more than 5 million customers in California, or one-third of Charter Spectrum’s total customers nationwide.
This especially sours the mood for sports fans preparing for the start of the NFL season and families wanting children’s programs.
Until the impasse is resolved, there are other ways to access these channels.
Where can I watch sports and other Walt Disney programs?
If you want to stick with one TV provider in your area, your options include Cox, DirectTV and Dish. Each provider offers different packages and the basic packages include programs owned by Disney.
- Cox offers plans starting at $56 per month; its second package, at $99 per month, includes ESPN. Cox’s TV services are contract-free, but they do have a 24-month service contract that lets you make changes or cancel within the first 39 days of service.
- DirecTV lets you connect to its service using an Internet connection or satellite dish. To subscribe with an existing internet connection, packages start at $64.99 per month plus fees – this package includes ESPN, FX and Disney Channel. DirecTV has a 24-month programming commitment for new customers upon activation of its services.
- The Dish TV service requires a satellite dish and packages start at $79.99 per month for 190 channels. All Dish services come with a two-year commitment and early termination fee.
Consumers ready to ditch cable companies can turn to streaming services that connect to their smart TV or connecting device such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or Apple TV.
TV streaming services DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Fubo offer live sports and news, as well as entertainment for children and families from ABC-owned TV channels, ESPN networks, Disney-branded channels , Freeform and FX networks. and National Geographic Channels.
ABC-owned television channels are also available over-the-air at no cost to the customer.
- YouTube TV costs $72.99 per month. It offers more than 100 live and local channels. For an additional fee, customers can access the NFL Sunday Ticket or the NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone. The Sunday ticket costs an additional $349 per season. The package that includes Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone costs $389 per season. YouTube TV is running a discounted promotion on both add-ons; each add-on has a payment plan option.
- Sling TV, a subscription/app service, offers packages starting at $20 per month. The basic package includes 32 channels – ESPN, Disney Channel, Freeform and local live channels included. Families wishing to add channels such as Disney Junior (and five other related channels) can do so for an additional $6.
- Fubo offers 176 channels, including Disney Channel and ESPN, for a basic package costing $74.99 (additional taxes and fees may apply).
In Disney’s latest update on the negotiations saga, he said Hulu + Live TV — Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu — is another option to access his programming.
The live-streaming service, which bundles Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ along with 90 live channels, costs $69.99 per month. The offer is not accompanied by a contractual link.
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