Whenever there’s another of these drawn-out carriage disputes between cable providers and content owners — and they happen often — I always say that the customers are the ones who get hurt the most. Last week, nearly 15 million Spectrum subscribers abruptly lost their ability to watch ESPN, ABC, and other Disney-owned channels right as Labor Day weekend got underway — and smack dab in the middle of the US Open. In the days since, Disney and Spectrum parent Charter Communications have been throwing blame back and forth like a hot potato.
But many people are getting fed up with the blackout, and this includes the US Open athletes themselves. “I guess in a lot of hotels, they have Spectrum, so I cannot watch it on TV anymore,” Daniil Medvedev said at a press conference on Tuesday when asked if he’d be watching other matches to better prepare. So, like anyone else in his position would do, he turned to the legally questionable corners of the internet to stream the Open instead.
“But, I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal, but — I have to find a way because I cannot watch it on TV — so I got internet and this pirate website or something, so I watched tennis there. I had no other choice.”
There’s no sign of this spat being resolved anytime soon. So, as the tennis tourney continues on, Medvedev and many fans will likely need to keep pirating matches until Charter and Disney can finally stop bickering and get a deal done. A deal that will no doubt eventually raise customers’ cable prices. Like always.
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