Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

How to watch ESPN, ABC, and FX during the Disney-Spectrum dispute

Published Sep 5th, 2023 6:49PM EDT
A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Image: Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

It has been nearly a week since Disney-owned channels vanished from televisions of Spectrum subscribers around the US. Due to the ongoing carriage dispute between Disney Entertainment and Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, Disney channels are being blacked out on Spectrum. Until the two come to a new agreement, Spectrum subscribers are out of luck. This is especially unfortunate timing as college football, the US Open, and more live TV staples are currently airing. So, if you have Spectrum and aren’t willing to wait around for Disney and Charter to figure this out, here are some other options.

How to watch Disney channels without Spectrum

These carriage disputes rarely last long, but reports suggest neither side is willing to budge for now. If, like me, you’re a big college football fan, you missed all of the games that aired on ABC, ESPN, and SEC Network this past weekend. The best bet is to sign up for a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) in the meantime.

There are several live TV services to choose from, but the most popular is YouTube TV. It costs $72.99 a month and features more than 85 live channels, including virtually every Disney-owned channel: ABC, all the ESPN stations, SEC Network, ACC Network, Longhorn Network, FX, FXX, FXM, Freeform, Disney Channel, and National Geographic.

Sling TV, FuboTV, and DirecTV Stream are three other options. Disney would prefer you sign up for Hulu + Live TV, which just so happens to be owned by Disney. Spectrum is also sending emails to customers offering Fubo’s $99.99 Ultimate plan for $69.99 a month, but you’ll have to pay two subscriptions to take advantage of this offer.

If you also aren’t interested in a live TV service like the ones listed above, your only other option might be another cable provider. The problem is that many regions are monopolized by a single provider, such as Charter, Comcast, or Cox. There’s a chance that Dish Network, DirecTV, or Verizon’s Fios TV service your area if you’re ready to make the switch.

Spectrum subscribers affected by the Disney blackout should be sure to call Charter’s customer service. Reports suggest that the company is giving customers a $15 credit off their next bill. We can’t guarantee everyone will receive this offer, but it’s worth a shot.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.