Well here's something you don't see every day, maybe not ever:
In the ongoing and still unresolved standoff between Charter/Spectrum cable and Disney, which I wrote about when it began late last week, both sides are trying to divert the nearly 15 million customers of the cable company to other platforms.
This would seem natural for Disney, of course, which owns the family of ESPN channels. The dispute is angering a lot of people who suddenly can't watch college football, the U.S. Open and — if things don't get fixed soon — Monday Night Football next week between the Bills and Jets.
Disney is reportedly encouraging viewers to sign up for Hulu, a streaming service that offers channels like ESPN and which is available in a bundle along with ESPN and Disney-plus. Hey, why not try to make lemonade out of lemons?
The strange thing? Charter/Spectrum is doing the same thing, only they are telling customers to subscribe to Fubo TV or YouTube TV, two other streaming platforms that offer live programming.
What's the motive for a cable company to encourage fed-up viewers to ditch cable? Essentially, Charter might not want to be in the video business any more. And as I talked about on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast, it wants to keep precious subscribers to its internet service — with high-speed internet, of course, being a necessary component of any streaming service.
Essentially, Charter isn't sure being in the TV business is good anymore, and they are taking this occasion to draw a line in the sand.
Whether that line is temporary or permanent remains to be seen, but the impact in the short-term is undeniable.
Financial Times reported that players at the U.S. Open, who are unable to watch other matches on TV because of the disappearing channels, have been provided free app logins by ESPN/Disney in order to gain access.
That's just one example of the potential hastening of the transition from ESPN being a cable/satellite product to being a standalone property that tries to make its money off a direct-to-consumer model.
The irony is that ESPN directly benefited for decades from the old model, racking up increasingly expensive fees from subscribers. It can be argued that a lot of ESPN's leverage in those negotiations has eroded in recent years.
Whether there's enough mutual benefit in the relationship between ESPN and cable providers like Charter/Spectrum to save it remains to be seen.
If not, they all better be ready to explain a lot of frustrated cable holdouts that they now should scan a QR code and sign up for something new.
Best of luck with that.
Here are four more things to know today:
*Nick Bosa getting $34 million a year (at least on paper) to be the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league is quite the eye opener. Will it impact whatever Justin Jefferson ends up getting from the Vikings?
*If you believe the Twins have more or less wrapped up the AL Central, you should turn your attention to their potential first-round playoff opponent. It almost certainly will either be the Blue Jays or the third-place AL West finisher out of Houston, Texas and Seattle.
*Please read Ben Goessling's excellent profile of Kirk Cousins.
*Speaking of the Vikings, the Thursday and Friday Daily Delivery podcasts will be a special effort of sorts in which Jeff Day and I will preview the year ahead by counting down/drafting the 10 best (Thursday) and 10 worst (Friday) moments in franchise history.