New York-area customers of Altice USA will be short at least one network in the coming months, as conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck’s The Blaze channel falls from its systems in the New York metropolitan area.
The decision to drop the channel at the end of next month was made months ago by Cablevision Systems executives, according to sources familiar with both companies. Altice USA completed its $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision on June 21.
The Blaze, which has said it is currently available on more than 100 cable, telco and satellite TV systems through its carriage agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative and larger distributors like Dish Network, will remain on Altice USA’s other cable property, Suddenlink Communications. The Blaze signed its deal with Cablevision in 2014.
The network could not be reached for comment but sources familiar with both companies said the decision to drop the channel was made because of low viewership.
Altice USA has said that it sees upcoming carriage renewal deals as an opportunity to pare networks from its channel lineup. Although The Blaze is not technically part of those deals, Cablevision had made deals with several smaller networks like OneWorld Sports, UP, Aspire and beIN Sports over the past two years that could come under greater scrutiny.
Larger deals also could be coming up for renewal, including Cablevision’s carriage pact with the Walt Disney Co., which sources said could be next in line.
Optimum TV customers in the New York area are being informed that the Blaze will no longer be available at the end of August.
“We are always evaluating which channels best meet the needs and preferences of our customers, and as a result, we are no longer carrying The Blaze,” Altice USA said in a statement.
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