Disney Relents After Players Say They Want Their ESPN

US Open competitors were unable to watch their rivals play because of Disney-Charter lockout
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2023 6:30 PM CDT
Disney Relents After Players Say They Want Their ESPN
Coco Gauff reacts to the crowd after defeating Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships Tuesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A lot of people complained when Disney cut off its ESPN programming from Charter Spectrum last week during a dispute over fees. But the company was listening when tennis stars such as Coco Gauff and Daniil Medvedev publicly objected to not being able to watch their rivals' matches at the US Open in New York, per the Hollywood Reporter. So the signal was turned back for players and some broadcasters and others covering the tournament in the Queens borough of New York City.

"I guess in a lot of hotels, they have Spectrum, so I cannot watch it on TV anymore," Medvedev said in press conference Monday night. He eventually watched matches on "pirate websites," he said. John McEnroe, an analyst for ESPN, also was shut out by the blackout while dealing with COVID-19. Broadcasts of other sports were affected, of course, including the first weekend of college football. The NFL's first edition of Monday Night Football is next week. In addition to ESPN, ABC and other channels owned by Disney have gone dark on Spectrum. The dispute over fees doesn't seem to be any closer to resolution, per CNBC. Disney blamed Charter on Thursday, and Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said "Disney will be who decides" what's next. (More US Open Tennis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.