Cable customers on Long Island and in New Jersey and Connecticut could possibly be losing their access to Disney-owned channels like ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, Freeform, Disney Channel and Disney XD. The fourth largest cable distributor, Altice USA, is in a heated contract dispute with Disney over network carriage rights.
Disney and Altice have been in contract negotiations for months over the price increase that Disney is seeking for the right to distribute their channels. Analysts are saying that this price increase would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. Disney has threatened that if no deal is reached than their channels will go dark starting October 1st.
Altice USA has responded with a statement accusing Disney of “outrageous” demands for pricing. The statement goes on to tell Disney to “stop the threats” and “focus on negotiating an agreement that is fair”.
Disney then issued its own statement describing Altice USA as greedy and will also begin implementing onscreen crawls and commercials to warn customers that they could be losing their access to ESPN and ABC. “We have a responsibility to make our viewers aware of the potential loss of our programming,” Disney issued in a statement. “We remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so”.
Altice USA issued their own statement to customers saying “We are always working hard to negotiate carriage agreements that reflect the best interest of all of our customers. We want to carry ESPN and its sister networks, including ABC and Disney Channel, at a reasonable rate and have already offered an increase.”
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Source Credit: NY Times
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