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ESPN, Charter come to an agreement, Monday Night Football will not be blacked out on Spectrum

The ESPN/Spectrum battle has been resolved and sports fans rejoice.

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A detailed views of the ESPN Monday Night Football logo during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Monday update, 11:55 a.m.: Good news, Spectrum customers! Charter and Disney have come to an agreement that will end their two-week dispute and activate ESPN for Spectrum customers once again. The dispute involved an upcoming ESPN streaming app, among other things, the only thing that really matters is the dispute is resolved. The deal includes adding the Disney Plus ad-supported plan to the Spectrum TV Select package, and ESPN+ will be added for Spectrum TV Select Plus subscribers.

The NFL closes out Week 1 with a big AFC East showdown on Monday Night Football. The New York Jets open the Aaron Rodgers era when they host the Buffalo Bills on ESPN. The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the game on ABC and ESPN and Peyton and Eli Manning calling it on their Manningcast on ESPN2.

It should be a fun time in a much-hyped matchup. Of course, if your cable provider is Spectrum, many fans won’t actually be able to watch the game on TV.

Disney, which owns ESPN, has been in an ongoing rights dispute with Charter Communications, which operates the Spectrum cable TV brand in markets across America. The battle is over how much Spectrum has to pay for the right to air ESPN channels in its cable package. Spectrum claims it’s too much, ESPN claims it’s a fair deal.

It’s a battle of billionaires, so we’re not going to waste time saying who is right and who is wrong. The only thing matters tonight on Monday Night Football is who will and won’t be able to watch the game.

The game is being broadcast on both ABC and ESPN, so if you have an antenna option in a Spectrum market, you’ll generally be able to watch the game. I say “generally” because there are some markets in which Disney owns the local ABC affiliate and thus are blacking out that channel as well. Most notably, WABC-TV in New York is owned by Disney. The WKBW-TV affiliate in Buffalo is owned by Scripps’, so it will be available to upstate New York fans.

If you are unable to view the game on ABC or ESPN, there are some alternatives in the short term until these two companies get a deal figure out. Notably, Spectrum sent out an offer to customers offering a free trial of Fubo.

If you have a subscription to ESPN+ (on its own or through the Disney bundle), both the main broadcast on ABC/ESPN and the Manningcast on ESPN2 will be available for that service. ESPN+ is strictly a streaming service, so it would not be impacted by the Spectrum/ESPN dispute.

This will eventually get resolved, but in the meantime, there are ways to get around not having your regular cable service. Do what you need to do to check out the start of the Aaron Rodgers era in the Big Apple on Monday Night Football.