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Disney, Altice Announce New Distribution Agreement

The Walt Disney Co. and Altice USA announced what they called a comprehensive distribution agreement that will bring Disney programming to Optimum video customers.

The agreement will add Disney’s SEC Network and the upcoming ACC Network to the Optimum bundle. It also will give subscribers access to more on-demand content and allow them to watch out of home on an array of digital devices.

The companies also expect to collaborate on ESPN’s direct-to-consumer product, which is slated to launch in early 2018, and have agreed to leverage Altice USA’s data analytics platform.

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The agreement covers Disney’s ESPN, which commands the biggest subscriber fees in the cable TV business but has been losing subscribers to cord cutting and cord shaving. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The two companies had announced on Sunday that they had reached an agreement in principal as the previous pact was set to expire.

“This agreement with Altice demonstrates the tremendous value and importance of ESPN, Disney and ABC content to any distributor,” said Justin Connolly, executive VP, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “Together we are committed to delivering the best in sports, news and entertainment programming to Optimum customers, regardless of platform, including new networks from ESPN; ESPN’s upcoming multisport, direct-to-consumer offering; and New York’s most-watched station, WABC.”

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The agreement renews carriage of WABC-TV, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN3 and Freeform.

“Altice USA is focused on providing the highest quality video and service experience to our customers at a great value, and our successful arrangement with The Walt Disney Company ensures that our Optimum customers will continue to receive the programming they want at a reasonable cost,” said Michael Schreiber, executive VP and chief content officer, Altice USA . “We are pleased with the value and terms agreed to and we thank our customers for their support while we worked on their behalf to reach a fair agreement.”