ABC, ESPN and More Channels Go Dark on Major Cable Provider

All Disney-owned channels and networks are currently unavailable to watch on Spectrum.

ABC, ESPN and more channels have gone dark on a major cable provider. The Streamable reports that Disney-owned cable channels and ABC affiliates are not airing for Spectrum users across the nation, as of 8 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. The issue seems to stem from a carriage fee dispute between Disney and Spectrum.

According to The Streamable, Disney claims that it has requested fair, "market-based" distribution rates for its channels. Spectrum, however, states that Disney demanded "excessive" fee increases. Notably, Disney CEO Bob Iger previously stated that linear TV channels — such as ABC and ESPN — are not "core" to the company's business needs. He added that they could be sold if necessary. See below for a list of the Disney-owned channels and local news affiliates that have gone dark on Spectrum.

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN Deportes
  • ESPNews
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network
  • Longhorn Network
  • FX
  • FX Movie Channel
  • FXX
  • Freeform
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Nat Geo Mundo
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • Baby TV
  • ABC7 Chicago
  • ABC7 Los Angeles
  • ABC7 New York
  • ABC7 San Francisco
  • ABC11 Raleigh-Durham
  • ABC13 Houston
  • ABC30 Fresno

The issue is compounded by the start of the college football and NFL seasons. Sports fans may be panicking about how to watch their favorite teams play with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPNews, SEC Network, ACC Network, and Longhorn Network gone. Similarly, parents with kids who enjoy Disney Channel or National Geographic are also likely worried about missing out on those channels. 

The move is an interesting one, especially considering that Disney has made decisions recently that seem to indicate that networks are still important. One such choice is the company moving Dancing With the Stars back to ABC for its next season after airing it exclusively on Disney+ last year. The show initially aired on the network since 2005 but was exclusively moved to Disney+ for Season 31 in 2022. In May, Vulture reported that the hit competition series will once again call ABC its home, as the show will air on the network and Disney+ simultaneously.

It's unclear when and if the carriage fee dispute between Disney and Spectrum will be resolved.