Altice USA said that it is no longer carrying programming from Starz and StarzEncore following the expiration of their distribution deal at midnight.
The blackout affects customers of both Altice (Optimum) and Suddenlink cable TV subscribers.
The cable company noted that subscribers to the premium channel could continue to watch via Starz.com.
Altice said that it made “numerous attempts” to reach a deal in video packages and as an a la carte offering but that Starz refused all offers, including an offer to extend the previous arrangement.
A Starz spokesperson said "Altice has shown an unwillingness to negotiate in good faith to the detriment of our shared customers, and they have removed Starz from their platform. We remain available to discuss a fair and reasonable agreement that will serve the interests of our loyal subscribers."
In its statement, Altice said:
“We are focused on providing the best content experience for our customers and continually evaluate which channels meet their needs and preferences relative to the cost of the programming imposed by content owners. Given that Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz' own over-the-top streaming service, we don't believe it makes sense to charge all of our customers for Starz programming, particularly when their viewership is declining and the majority of our customers don't watch Starz. We believe it is in the best interest of all our customers to replace Starz and StarzEncore programming with alternative entertainment channels that will provide a robust content experience at a great value."
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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