Consumer Alert: Here’s how Spectrum customers can get ESPN for free during the blackout

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s a big weekend in sports. And if you have Spectrum, you’re mostly out of luck.  That’s because Disney pulled its channels off the cable provider on Thursday night. That means you can’t watch the channels that Disney owns… and that includes ESPN.

Sunday, ESPN issued a statement, and predictably, it’s taking the side of its owner, Disney, and blaming the cable provider. The statement reads, “Although Charter [the owner of Spectrum] claims that they value their customers, they declined Disney’s offer to extend negotiations which would have kept Disney-owned networks up for consumers in the middle of perennial programming events like the U.S. Open and college football.”

Spectrum says that’s malarky. Its statement reads in part, “We offered Disney a fair deal, yet they are demanding an excessive increase.”

And while these media goliaths battle over bucks, you’re left without the programming you paid for.

Disney and Spectrum are battling over the fees that Spectrum has to pay Disney to carry its channels.  That means that all 118 channels that Disney owns, including ABC and ESPN, are no longer available, just as Jessica Pegula plays in the U.S. Open and the college football season begins.

Here are options for Spectrum customers to get those channels for free in the short-term, but it requires you to have high speed cable at your home. With all these options you can get popular channels like ABC and ESPN with the hope that Spectrum and Disney settle their dispute quickly and you can cancel the trial.

YouTube TV: 14-day free trial

Fubo TV: 7-day free trial

DirecTV stream: 5-day free trial

A viewer named Ruth wrote today to share this information. “I contacted Spectrum to voice our frustration. The representative said they could apply a $15 credit—after which she asked if I would like the credit to be applied to our next bill.” 

It’s certainly worth your time to call to ask for credit as well. If so, it would pay most of the cost of the Orange package with Sling TV.  It’s half off for the first month. So you could pay $20 and then cancel.