Tennis champion Daniil Medvedev is competing in the US Open, but there’s a problem: he can’t watch any of the matches on his TV.
The No. 3 seed and 2021 US Open winner lamented in a post-match news conference Monday that the ongoing spat between the Spectrum and Walt Disney Co. has forced him to look for an alternative way to watch tennis, given that his hotel no longer carries ESPN.
“I can’t watch him on TV anymore.” Medvedev said About the tennis tournament. “I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal, but I have to find a way because I can’t watch it on TV. I have internet, maybe that’s what you call it, pirate sites, so I watch tennis there… I have no other choice.
An ESPN spokesperson said on Tuesday that they are working to give Medvedev access to the ESPN+ app that streams matches.
Last week, Disney-owned channels such as ESPN were pulled from its 15 million Primetime Spectrum Cable subscribers, angering fans trying to watch tennis and college football. Charter, the parent company of Spectrum, said Disney “insisted on a traditional, long-term deal with higher pricing and limited packaging flexibility” and that Disney rejected the renewal proposal.
The cable provider stresses that the proposal from the media group would lead to a significant cost increase for subscribers, who would also be saddled with channels they may not want to watch. This type of arrangement between channel owners and cable service providers has been the norm for decades, but the advent of the streaming model has brought new pressures to both.
“We have had successful deals with pay-TV providers of all types and sizes across the country, and the rates and terms we seek in this renewal are market-driven,” Disney said in a statement. “We are committed to reaching a mutually agreed-upon solution with Charter and urge them to act.” with us to minimize inconvenience to their customers.”
On Monday, Disney launched a marketing campaign saying this weekend was “disappointing for millions of Spectrum Cable subscribers” and urging people to sign up for a “Hulu + Live TV” package that gives them access to Disney and ESPN+ cable channels. Where many matches are broadcasted live.
Ironically, NY1 — a local news channel available on Spectrum — aired its morning show from the US Open on Tuesday. However, its broadcasters did not acknowledge the transfer dispute or mention the irony that Spectrum subscribers could not watch tennis on their cable service.
The US Open, which is being held in Queens, New York, runs until Sunday.