Optimum Cable Customers May Face ABC, ESPN Blackout

Altice USA Inc (NYSE:ATUS) — which is better known as Optimum — may soon be unable to provide programming to its subscribers.

OptimumWalt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) has threatened to black out service for Optimum subscribers before the end of the month if the two parties can’t reach a deal. This would eliminate some of the top Disney-owned networks from the cable provider’s listings, including ESPN and ABC.

Disney asked Optimum for hundreds of millions of dollars in new fees to continue offering ESPN and ABC, despite the fact that the move will hurt Disney’s ratings, which have already been on the decline.

The contract between the two parties will run out at the end of the month, so they have been working hard to reach a new deal that appeases both parties. The blackout will occur starting on Oct. 1 if the deal isn’t reached.

“We are always working hard to negotiate carriage agreements that reflect the best interest of all our customers. We want to carry ESPN and its sister networks, including ABC and Disney, at a reasonable rate and have already offered an increase in retransmission fees and sports programming costs,” Altice said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Sunday.

The average customer pays Optimum about $160 a month for its services.

ATUS shares grew 1.3% Monday, while DIS stock gained 0.8%.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2017/09/optimum-espn-abc-dis-atus/.

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