The programming agreements between ESPN and cable companies in the past several years have been that ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD were provided at no additional charge to subscribers who recieve ESPN SD and ESPN2 SD. Charter, for years, was doing the 'right thing' by providing (via clear qam) to expanded basic subscribers what they were rightfully paying for and should have been receiving. Either the programming agreement has changed (don't think so), or Charter has decided to do what many of the other cable companies have done... screw people out of what they are already paying for.
We are probably wasting time anyway complaining about two channels going missing. If you're upset now about loosing channels on TV's you don't have a box for, your going to be really upset come the end of the year. Charter announced on the 9th that 60% of their footprint will go Switched Digital Video by the end of the year. You can bet that the the Leeds headend WILL be in that 60%...http://www.multichannel.com/article/...DV_Rollout.php
In order to make space for SDV, more of the analog channels (expanded basic) will be GOING AWAY. Also, cable card does not work with SDV.. so you're going to need a cable box or a true-2-way card installed in a TV or Tivo that supports it.
If you're thinking about switching to Dish or Directv (or U-verse if you can get it).. now is a good time to do it !! Waiting 5 seconds for a channel to tune in.. and constantly getting the "try again" error message is not my idea of an enjoyable experience watching TV.