ESPN is giving tennis players competing in the U.S. Open access to live streams of the tournament’s matches as a carriage dispute between Disney and Charter Communications continues to leave Spectrum customers in the dark.
An individual familiar with the matter confirmed to TheWrap that the live streams are being offered on a case by case basis to athletes and the sports network’s on-air talent who need it.
The move comes after Daniil Medvedev, the No. 3 player and winner of the 2021 U.S. Open, revealed at a Monday press conference that he was unable to watch matches due to his hotel carrying Spectrum.
“I guess in a lot of hotels, they have Spectrum, so I cannot watch it on TV anymore,” Medvedev said. “I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal, but I have to find a way because I cannot watch it on TV — so I got internet and probably this, how you call it, pirate websites or something, so I watched tennis there. I have no other choice.”
Meanwhile, player Coco Gauff said in her press conference on Tuesday that she was unable to watch a match between Jelena Ostapenko and Iga Swiatek.
“We can’t watch ESPN at our hotel,” Gauff said. “I saw the scoreline. I didn’t see the match.”
The blackout started during an Aug. 31 U.S. Open match involving Carlos Alcaraz. The tournament is set to conclude on Sunday.
The dispute could also pour into the start of Monday Night Football. The first game is set for Sept. 11 with the Buffalo Bills set to face the New York Jets.
In the meantime, Spectrum customers looking to watch Disney content, including ESPN, can switch to alternative options including Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Fubo and DirectTV Stream.