Some UK fans left scrambling as ESPN channels on Spectrum go dark

Some UK fans left scrambling as ESPN channels on Spectrum go dark
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A dispute between the Walt Disney Company and Spectrum has left fans in the dark right before the start of the college football season.

As of now, Disney, which owns all the ESPN channels, has removed its programming from the cable company.

Spectrum says it offered Disney a fair deal, but Disney is demanding an excessive increase for their content.

This leaves some football fanatics and customers of Spectrum upset. All this right before UK’s first game of the year on an ESPN channel: the SEC network.

We spoke to a Lexington sports bar owner who says this dispute among two media giants is impacting the little guy.

“We’ve been a loyal Spectrum customer for a while, and this dispute is going to affect us negatively,” said Chris Brothers, co-owner of Charlie Brown’s restaurant.

Chris Brothers and another business partner took over the 50-year-old lexington bar back in March.

Brothers tells us his customers expect the UK Ball State football game to be on one of his TVs on Saturday afternoon.

“I think they need to think about this in a bigger picture as far as the little people, you know, we are like a mile from the campus from the stadium, and to not be able to show it is not fair to us,” said Brothers.

Brothers knows there’s a chance his loyal customers will simply find another bar that uses a different carrier where the game will be shown on the SEC Network.

“It will certainly take a hit because we expect to show the game because it is part of our revenue,” said Brothers. “It’s part of our business plan, and when we don’t get the games, that’s when everything flips around on us.”

A loyal customer of Charlie Brown’s, Donny Whitt, says he feels Brothers’ pain about showing the game.

“Well, I don’t like it because they gonna raise the price again,” said Whitt. “They’re taking channels off and raising the prices. Switching; switching like I switch my beer, you know what I mean.”

Football fans hope this is resolved soon.

Chris Brothers says he plans to switch cable companies if the dispute isn’t resolved. He’s already looking at other cable companies, and he says one way or another, the 50-year-old bar will show the game on Saturday.

We reached out to Spectrum for comment, but we haven’t heard back from the cable company.