Dispute between Spectrum, ESPN causes blackout on opening night of college football

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 8:47 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Spectrum customers hoping to catch the Missouri Tigers opening-night game were left in the dark Thursday night.

A feud between the cable company and Disney led to all ESPN networks being unavailable, including SEC Network, the channel airing the Tigers’ season-opener against South Dakota.

“The Walt Disney Company, the owner of this channel, has removed their programming from Spectrum which creates hardship for our customers,” a message read when customers attempted to access any of the ESPN channels. “We apologize for the inconvenience and are continuing to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a fair agreement.”

The message continued.

“Our negotiations are about one thing -- reaching an agreement that is fair to our customers. We understand this is an inconvenience and hope to return this programming soon. We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to continuing to serve you.”

Below, another message said that customers could voice their concerns at DisneyESPNFairDeal.com.

On social media, Spectrum was a trending topic on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Programming was cut right at 7 p.m. CT, as the SEC Network broadcast of the Missouri game began -- along with a Florida-Utah game on ESPN that featured former Blue Valley North quarterback Graham Mertz making his debut with the Gators.