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NY Post
New York Post
9 Sep 2023


NextImg:NY Jets fans fume over possible opener blackout amid Spectrum-Disney dispute

Almost 15 million Spectrum cable subscribers nationwide — including more than 1.5 million in New York — are in danger of missing Aaron Rodgers’ much-anticipated Jets debut as he takes on in-state rival the Buffalo Bills on “Monday Night Football” because of a bitter financial squabble between Charter Communications and Walt Disney Co.

“So now that the Jets have a hopeful team we’re in danger of not seeing opening night game because of the dispute between Disney and Spectrum?”  

NYC-based psychotherapist Michael Leiman raged on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Couldn’t they’ve had this fight when the Jets sucked & were never on Monday night?”

Chris Santarelli, a Jets fan from the Upper East Side, was planning to watch the game — kickoff is at 8:15 — with his 3-week-old son Jack.

“It’s a huge bummer for lifelong fans who’ve been looking forward to this game all summer,” said Santarelli, 34. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been as excited for a season.”

“I hate to use the phrase ‘Same Old Jets,’ but it makes sense,” Jets superfan Ira Lieberfarb lamented of the impasse.
Stephen Yang

Charter

A financial feud spurred Disney on Aug. 31 to pull ABC and ESPN — which both televise MNF — and its other channels from Charter-owned Spectrum’s pay-cable TV service, and the blackout remains in effect with no end in sight.
Getty Images

The financial feud spurred Disney on Aug. 31 to pull ABC and ESPN — which both televise MNF — and its other channels from Charter-owned Spectrum’s pay-cable TV service, and the blackout has no end in sight.

Longtime Jets fan Henry Feldstein, 70, of Forest Hills, said he’s considering sidelining Spectrum and switching to a paid streaming service because he’s fed up with the “greed” driving the blackout.

The Jets last made the playoffs in 2010 — the longest drought of any team in any of the major sports.

Chris Santarelli and infant son, Jack.

Chris Santarelli planned to watch the game with his infant son.
Courtesy of Chris Santarelli

Their only Super Bowl win was in 1969.

“It’s terrible! The Jets [and their fans] are innocent bystanders. Finally, when people are interested in seeing us, they can’t see us!” fumed Feldstein, who plans to watch the game at Tropix Bar & Lounge in Rego Park.

Bars throughout the Big Apple — including Rocky McBride’s in Astoria, Queens — are expecting a flood of Jets fans to pack their joints Monday night because of the dispute.

Trish Murray at Rocky McBride's

Trish Murray, 44, manager and bartender at Rocky McBride’s in Queens expects the watering hole to be “inundated” with Jets fans on Monday night.
J.C. Rice

“Thank God, we are smart, and we do not have Spectrum cable,” quipped Rocky McBride’s manager/bartender Trish Murray, 44. “We will be inundated with Jets fans Monday night.”

“I think it’s a disgrace that people pay so much for their cable bills and are unable to watch a New York game  — especially in their hometown. The cable companies should be ashamed of themselves.”

Viewers affected by the contract dispute can still watch the game for free on ABC if they have a digital antenna — which can cost up to $200.

Those who want ESPN and the rest of Disney’s channels would instead need to shell out big bucks for Hulu + Live TV, which runs $69.99 per month, or other paid streaming services like fuboTV and NFL+. 

Aaron Rodgers

Some 14.7 million Spectrum cable subscribers nationwide – including over 1.5 million in New York – are in danger of missing Aaron Rodgers much-anticipated regular season debut with the Jets against the Buffalo Bills.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Gov. Kathy Hochul, an avid Bills fan, got involved in the fight Friday.

She directed the state Department of Public Service to hold Spectrum accountable and help ensure it refunds affected customers for the lost channels.

She also urged both sides in a press statement to reach an agreement. 

Spectrum claims it offered Disney a “fair deal” to carry its channels, but Disney demanded an “excessive increase” in price.

Disney

Disney pulled ABC and ESPN — which both televise MNF — on Aug. 31.
AP

Disney blames Charter and Spectrum for the blackout.

Spectrum has 3.5 million customers in New York and 49,000 customers in New Jersey, and about 1.5 million Spectrum customers no longer have access to Disney-owned channels in New York due to the dispute.

One fan not sweating the cable confrontation is Jets superfan Ira Lieberfarb — best known as “Ira from Staten Island” to millions of WFAN and ESPN radio listeners.

Trish Murray

“Thank God, we are smart, and we do not have Spectrum cable,” quipped Rocky McBride’s manager/bartender Trish Murray.
J.C. Rice

He has Verizon cable — and attends virtually every Jets game home and away.

“I hate to use the phrase ‘Same Old Jets,’ but it makes sense,” Lieberfarb lamented. “Now they’re primed for success, [but] the poor fans who can’t attend the games and depend on watching it and have the wrong carrier — they’re screwed.”