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Sankey: AT&T/Directv subscribers may lose ESPN and SEC Network access this weekend

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Yet another flap between corporate giants, both using fans as pawns for negotiation.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently the contract between AT&T/Directv and ABC/ESPN/Disney is set to run up at the end of the month, and as usual both sides are publicly blaming the other in the runup to potential disruption. As you well know, the SEC and ESPN are deep into a megadeal that includes SEC Network, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is thus taking the mouse’s side in the flap.

These disputes happen all the time, but this one feels a bit different. On the one hand, live sports are among a shrinking list of content that keeps people subscribed to cable and satellite services amidst the mass cord-cutting that presents an existential threat to the entire business model, On the other hand, the vast majority of sports bars use Directv to bring games to their patrons, and there are plenty of folks who aren’t quite yet on board with the improving but still cumbersome nature of streaming. ESPN’s advertisers would be none too pleased to see this dispute lead to disruption.

Stay tuned.

By the way, had to embed the below reply to Sankey’s comment for you. Everybody deserves a hearty laugh on a Friday.

Roll Tide.