A Spectrum slide during the Disney-Charter dispute. Spectrum slide shown in the place of Disney networks which are currently dark. Photo courtesy Timothy Burke

This weekend has been tough for Spectrum customers who lost the Disney channels including ESPN. Spectrum customers saw ESPN go dark right on August 31 as the Florida-Utah game was set to kickoff. It’s all part of a dispute between Spectrum parent company Charter Communications and Disney over subscriber fees. Charter says it doesn’t want customers to pay for a channel, ESPN in particular, that they don’t watch and is hoping to change what it says is a broke system. Disney says Charter is being unfair and its subscribers are missing out on key programming.

So with both sides not blinking and refusing to budge, both companies are offering online streaming to Spectrum subscribers. Charter already announced a 30% discount for two months to fubo’s Ultimate tier with NFL RedZone which normally costs $99.99/month. The discount brings the monthly cost to $69.99.

Late Monday, Disney came out with its own offer to Spectrum customers. Brian Steinberg of Variety broke the news on X, formerly Twitter.

Disney says the monthly cost for Hulu + Live TV starts at $69.99/month and can be canceled at any time without any commitments. However, unlike the Charter/fubo promotion, there is no discount involved for Hulu.

In a statement to Spectrum customers, Disney said other services such as DirecTV Stream, Sling, YouTube TV and yes, fubo offers its networks including owned-and-operated ABC stations across the country.

With consumers already paying for Spectrum, would they be willing to pay for another subscription while they wait for the dispute to end? That’s a good question. Probably not, but with the NFL season about to start, how much is sports worth for those still in the dark?

In the meantime, Spectrum’s 15-million customers are left in the lurch while Disney and Charter go at their war of words. We will see how long this lasts and how much will services like fubo and Hulu benefit from what appears to be a protracted dispute between two media behemoths.

[Walt Disney Company]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.