Content creator Disney has left subscribers who are tennis fans unable to watch the U.S. Open on Disney-owned sports channel ESPN, amid its dispute with cable company Spectrum.
Any of Spectrum's 15 million customers who have attempted to watch the New York City-based professional tennis tournament — one of four Grand Slam events — since Labor Day weekend, would have encountered aand message indicating that the service is temporarily unavailable.
Disney blocked access to ESPN programming Thursday, during the second round of the men's and women's singles events.
"Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the biggest sports weekends of the year. Viewers sit down to watch the anticipated return of college football and enjoy the tennis battles at the U.S. Open," Disney said in a statement Sunday. "Unfortunately, for millions of Spectrum cable viewers this has not been the case this holiday weekend, since ESPN and other Disney-owned channels like ABC are blacked out due to a dispute between Spectrum's parent company — Charter Communications — and Disney Entertainment."
For Spectrum subscribers wondering how to tune in to one of the most anticipated tennis events of the year, here are other ways to watch the U.S. Open.
How can I watch the U.S. Open?
In its statement, Disney links to a site called Keepmynetworks.com informing consumers that they can access Disney networks through pay TV providers competing with Spectrum as well as independent streaming apps.
Listed are TV providers that still offer Disney channels like ESPN, including DirectTV, Dish and Verizon. Each requires subscriber accounts.
Tennis fans can also access ESPN through a Hulu+ LiveTV subscription plan. The whole package costs $69.99 per month.
Another app, Fubo TV, lets customers stream live sports, including the U.S. Open on ESPN, without a cable subscription, starting at $74.99 a month. Customers can sign up for a seven-day free trial, too.
Even third-seeded player Daniil Medvedev, who reached the tournament's quarterfinal round, said he was unable to study his opponents' games on TV, due to the dispute.
"Because I guess in a lot of hotels, they have Spectrum. So I cannot watch it on TV anymore," he said during a post-match press conference.
Medvedev said he'd resort to scoping out the competition on "pirate websites."
"So I'll watch tennis there. I have no other choice," he said.
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