spectrum/charter and disney/espn

Customer support troubles

This has not been a good week for Spectrum/Charter and ESPN. I’ve been having trouble for months getting CW (ch 11) to come in on my cable box. After unsuccessfully troubleshooting over the phone, they advised me to bring in the box and exchange it. I had a lot on the DVR and don’t watch CW often. (one show I think) And it does work when watching the show on demand so I’ve been doing that. All the other channels I watch come in just fine.

Monday (the first day of the US Open) I learned ESPN has the same problem. Ok then. Time to say goodbye to what is on the DVR because I definitely want to watch live tennis. I brought the box to the Spectrum store and explained the problem. They asked when ESPN last came in. Eleven and a half months ago :). CW was more recently. They were out of boxes but getting more in the next day so they advised me to come back.

I plugged the box back in figuring I’d watch some DVR stuff. All the channels came in including CW and ESPN. So the problem was a lose coaxial cable. This should be in the phone troubleshooting checklist.

Charter/Disney dispute

On Thursday night, I was watching tennis on ESPN(2) and it suddenly went out due to the Disney/Charter lack of carriage agreement. Since I was out all day Friday and going to the US Open in person Friday night, I figured I’d wait until Saturday to deal with this.

Attempt number one – EPSN+

I paid $10 for a month of ESPN+. You can watch all the outer court matches but not the ones on Armstrong/Ashe. I’ll probably watch some of these since I paid for it. (ex: when show courts are on break), but this doesn’t solve my problem. I really want to watch ESPN

edit: I saw on social media that you can contact espn+ support and get your money back. I did this on website chat. It took about 10 minutes of waiting in the queue and then about 5 mins of chatting. They were nice about it. I guess this happens a lot. Or at least a lot this week at a time Disney/ESPN wish to be seen as the good guys!

Attempt number two – YouTube TV

YouTube TV has a 21 day free trial. Which includes ESPN and ESPN 2. I set that up on my TV and am now watching ESPN.

YouTube TV is cheaper than cable. But I’m not a fan of telling Google everything I watch. I’m ok with them knowing I like tennis. They know that anyway. My US Open tickets are in my gmail. So YouTubeTV meets my requirements for the week.

Ten year anniversary of a contract dispute affecting the US Open

Back in 2013, when the US Open had some matches on CBS, I also couldn’t watch the USOpen using paid tv. Conveniently, CBS is free network TV so I pulled out my old antenna then and was fine.