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ESPN Taking Time Warner Cable Carriage Negotiations Online

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Disney and ESPN is taking its carriage negotiations with Time Warner Cable online, launching a website and pages on social networking platforms to draw attention to the standoff.

The back-story: On September 2, Disney’s current deal with TWC will expire, potentially leading to ESPN, ESPN2 and other networks being pulled from Time Warner Cable’s channel lineup.

In response, the company has launched a campaign, which it is calling “I Have Choices.” A website, www.IHaveChoices.com and Facebook page have already launched and feature content about the potential loss of ESPN, as told from ESPN’s perspective, of course.

The name refers to the fact that consumers can switch to another provider, say, DirecTV or Verizon Fios, should TWC pull the ESPN Networks.

Carriage negotiations have become an increasingly public affair over the last couple of years, as operators and networks play hardball to get the best deal possible.

Still, the loss of ESPN would be a big one for TWC, especially right before football season starts. ESPN is the home of the “Monday Night Football” game of the week. “MNF” is routinely the top program on all of cable, and often all of television.

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