Spectrum Loses ESPN as U.S. Open, College Football Heat Up

Walt Disney Co. has yanked ESPN and ABC from Charter Communications' Spectrum pay-TV service, which serves almost 15 million homes

Spectrum's blackout on Thursday night occurred minutes before ESPN's highly anticipated college football game between the Utah Utes and Florida

Sports fans nationwide raged. Local Spectrum subscribers who watch ABC's “Jeopardy!”, “Wheel of Fortune” and KABC-TV Channel 7's 

“Eyewitness News” were also affected. The most popular TV programming, the NFL, went black just before the season. FX, Freeform, 

“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications for some time and have not yet agreed to a new market-based agreement,” 

Charter Spectrum is Los Angeles' leading pay-TV provider. The service has over 5 million California clients, a third of its total.

Friday was unclear how quickly the two sides would resolve the carriage price and terms issue, if at all. Charter CEO Christopher Winfrey told analysts

in a morning conference call that a deal must be reached fast and that Spectrum must allow Charter more flexibility in offering Disney's

“We’re either moving forward with a new collaborative video model, or we’re moving on,” Winfrey added. “We’re precarious... The video ecosystem fails.”

The Charter dispute is the latest major issue facing Disney and its CEO, Bob Iger, who returned to the company last November and has since faced