Starz Tells Altice to Cease and Desist

Starz, which is blacked out on cable systems owned by Altice because of a carriage fee dispute, says it has sent a cease and desist letter to Altice demanding Altice stop making false statements to customers.

“It has come to our attention that Altice is providing false and misleading information to consumers with respect to our renewal negotiations and the Starz signal,” Starz said.

“Specifically, Altice is advising its customers that Starz did not engage in extension discussions with, and pulled its signal from Altice. This is patently false. As you are well aware, while Starz was in the midst of actively negotiating the renewal, Altice unilaterally pulled down the Starz signal effective 12:01 AM January 1, 2018 without providing any prior communication or notice to Starz or its customers.”

Altice said the contents of Starz' letter are "completely false and without merit,"

Altice reaffirmed its original statement that it tried to reach a deal to continue to carry Starz, but the programming refused all offers, including an offer to extend the expiring arrangement.

Related: Starz Signs New Distribution Deal With Verizon’s Fios

The carriage agreement between Starz and Altice expired New Year’s Day.

Starz claims that Altice wants a drastic reduction in the price it pays for the channels because it is offering viewers an over-the-top option.

“As they have admitted repeatedly, Altice also wanted to penalize Starz for accommodating our next generation subscribers with a direct-to-consumer offering despite the fact that we have successfully reached agreements with our other carriage partners, linear and digital alike, in recent months,” Starz said.

Jon Lafayette

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.