Disney-Charter Blackout Forces Tennis Champion to Stream ESPNs U.S. Open Coverage on Pirate Websites: I Have No Other Choice

Russian tennis pro Daniil Medvedev is as frustrated as Charter Communications’ millions of cable TV customers that he can’t watch ESPN’s U.S. Open coverage because of the operator’s carriage fight with Disney.

Medvedev, one of the sport’s top-ranked players, revealed that he had resorted to piracy to watch the U.S. Open — and keep tabs on rivals like Novak Djokovic — during his stay in New York.

“I guess in a lot of hotels, they have [Charter’s] Spectrum, so I cannot watch it on TV anymore,” Medvedev said a press conference at the tournament Tuesday (h/t Tennis Letter).

He continued, “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.”

Disney networks including ESPN and ABC went dark on Charter’s Spectrum TV service the evening of Aug. 31 after the two sides failed to reach a renewal agreement.

Medvedev, who is the No. 3 seed in the U.S. Open, is scheduled to play No. 8 seed and Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev in a men’s quarterfinal match Wednesday.

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