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Hochul pressures Spectrum for customer refunds amid ESPN, Disney blackout

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  • Staff Report 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is demanding action from Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum cable TV, for compensating its customers as a nationwide blackout of Disney channels, including ESPN, persists.


This blackout especially concerns customers eager for the NFL season.

Hochul tasked State Public Service Commissioner Rory Christian with pressing Spectrum for customer refunds, stressing, “If you pay your cable bill, you deserve to get the services you pay for.”

Christian followed up with Charter, requesting assurance and specifics about the potential compensations.

By Friday, while Charter/Spectrum confirmed they would offer some form of credit, specifics were still pending.


The blackout has notably affected events like the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the anticipated Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets game, intensifying customer frustration.

This standstill between Spectrum and Disney is more than a mere disagreement over carriage fees; it reflects larger industry shifts as viewers transition from traditional cable to streaming services. Charter aims to offer Disney’s subscription-based streaming services for free to its cable subscribers and has expressed interest in modifying the sports programming from Disney/ESPN packages, a move toward an “a la carte” subscription model.



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