Disney is providing access to its US Open coverage to several players amid an ongoing standoff with cable firm Charter Communications that has seen pay-TV channels, including ESPN, blacked out for nearly 15 million US homes.
- ESPN confirmed to the Financial Times that the network has provided secure logins to The Walt Disney Company app for several players, including 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev
- Tennis pundit John McEnroe has been given a complimentary ESPN+ subscription to watch the Grand Slam, with other media members covering the tournament also provided logins
Medvedev raised the issue of being unable to watch tournament matches following his quarter-final win earlier this week.
The dispute between Disney and Charter came about following a collapse in negotiations concerning a new carriage deal, with Charter previously blaming the standoff on a loss of cable subscribers and Disney’s shift to move more programming towards its direct-to-consumer (DTC) platforms.
“I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal, but I have to find a way because I cannot watch [the matches] on TV,” Medvedev told reporters after winning his quarter-final.
“I got internet – how do you call it? – pirate websites, I watch tennis there. I have no other choice.”
Disney and Charter are running out of time to strike a new deal ahead of ESPN’s opening Monday Night Football broadcast for the upcoming National Football League (NFL) season.