‘Spiral’ Co-Director Set to Write, Helm Mini-Series About Missing Malaysia Flight

Nora Melhli’s recently launched production company Alef One is set to produce an untitled thriller mini-series based on Ghyslain Wattrelos’s book “Flight MH370, A Life Rerouted” and Florence de Changy’s “Flight MH370 did not simply di…

Nora Melhli’s recently launched production company Alef One is set to produce an untitled thriller mini-series based on Ghyslain Wattrelos’s book “Flight MH370, A Life Rerouted” and Florence de Changy’s “Flight MH370 did not simply disappear.” Gilles Bannier, the director of episodes of “Spiral” and “The Tunnel,” will write and direct the six-episode series. It […]

Fox Warns Altice’s Optimum And Suddenlink Subscribers About Impasse

Fox has started spreading the word that its distribution deal with Altice USA is set to expire in the coming days, warning that a blackout could leave millions of Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers without access to key fall programming.
The carriage d…

Fox has started spreading the word that its distribution deal with Altice USA is set to expire in the coming days, warning that a blackout could leave millions of Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers without access to key fall programming. The carriage deal with Altice, the French telecom giant which bought Cablevision in 2016 for about $10 billion, is set to expire at the end of September, according to sources familiar with the terms. The pact covers the Fox broadcast…

Altice Acquires Sky’s ‘Britannia’ for France, Boards as Co-Producer

French broadcaster Altice has taken rights to Sky original drama “Britannia” across France, Israel and Portugal, it was announced Tuesday by Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of Sky. The broadcaster and platform agreed to an e…

French broadcaster Altice has taken rights to Sky original drama “Britannia” across France, Israel and Portugal, it was announced Tuesday by Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of Sky. The broadcaster and platform agreed to an exclusive life-of-series distribution deal for the nine-part show across all three markets and will become a co-production partner […]

Starz, Altice Settle Carriage Dispute With New Multiyear Deal

Starz and Altice have finally settled their carriage dispute with a new multiyear deal.

The premium-TV channel — home to “Outlander” and “Power” (pictured above) — went dark for Altice customers on New Year’s Eve. Now, Starz and Starz Encore are back on for Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems.

This deal also allows for Altice USA to sell the Starz App to their Altice One customers. The agreement grows Starz’s subscriber number, which executives there are happy about.

Also Read: ‘American Gods’ Picks New Showrunner for Season 2

“Starz is very pleased that both companies found a mutually beneficial way to expand our relationship over the next several years to offer the best content possible to millions of Altice USA subscribers,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, chief operating officer of Starz. “In addition to the thousands of blockbuster and library movies Starz offers, we believe Altice USA values our company’s programming commitment to create and deliver premium quality original series that serve traditionally underserved audiences. By working together, both companies are in a stronger position to provide the best content and products to our shared customers.”

“Our goal is to give customers the flexibility, choice and entertainment they want at a great value, and we appreciate their patience while we worked to reach a deal that was in their best interest,” said Hakim Boubazine, co-president and chief operating officer of Altice USA. “Through this new expanded arrangement, we are pleased to provide Starz’ wide array of programming on traditional and digital platforms, and look forward to working with Starz to continue to serve the diverse needs of our customer base across the U.S.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Starz Petitions FCC to End 3-Week Blackout for 4.9 Million Optimum Subscribers

Starz’s ‘Vida’ Explores Gentrification of Latino Neighborhoods… by Other Latinos

‘John Wick’ TV Spinoff Coming to Starz; Keanu Reeves Expected to Guest

Starz and Altice have finally settled their carriage dispute with a new multiyear deal.

The premium-TV channel — home to “Outlander” and “Power” (pictured above) — went dark for Altice customers on New Year’s Eve. Now, Starz and Starz Encore are back on for Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems.

This deal also allows for Altice USA to sell the Starz App to their Altice One customers. The agreement grows Starz’s subscriber number, which executives there are happy about.

“Starz is very pleased that both companies found a mutually beneficial way to expand our relationship over the next several years to offer the best content possible to millions of Altice USA subscribers,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, chief operating officer of Starz. “In addition to the thousands of blockbuster and library movies Starz offers, we believe Altice USA values our company’s programming commitment to create and deliver premium quality original series that serve traditionally underserved audiences. By working together, both companies are in a stronger position to provide the best content and products to our shared customers.”

“Our goal is to give customers the flexibility, choice and entertainment they want at a great value, and we appreciate their patience while we worked to reach a deal that was in their best interest,” said Hakim Boubazine, co-president and chief operating officer of Altice USA. “Through this new expanded arrangement, we are pleased to provide Starz’ wide array of programming on traditional and digital platforms, and look forward to working with Starz to continue to serve the diverse needs of our customer base across the U.S.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Starz's 'Vida' Explores Gentrification of Latino Neighborhoods… by Other Latinos

'John Wick' TV Spinoff Coming to Starz; Keanu Reeves Expected to Guest

Starz And Altice End Impasse, Forge New Multi-Year Carriage Deal

Altice USA and Lionsgate-owned Starz have ended a six-week impasse and set a new multi-year affiliate deal, concluding the year’s first big carriage dispute.
Under the agreement, Altice will offer the full suite of Starz and Starz Encore premium linear and HD channels, On-Demand, HD On-Demand and online services across its Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems. The agreement also allows for Altice USA to sell the Starz App to their customers on the new Altice One…

Altice USA and Lionsgate-owned Starz have ended a six-week impasse and set a new multi-year affiliate deal, concluding the year’s first big carriage dispute. Under the agreement, Altice will offer the full suite of Starz and Starz Encore premium linear and HD channels, On-Demand, HD On-Demand and online services across its Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems. The agreement also allows for Altice USA to sell the Starz App to their customers on the new Altice One…

Starz and Altice USA Set Carriage Deal, Ending Six-Week Blackout

After a six-week standoff, Starz and Altice USA have come to terms on a new carriage agreement. The 16 Starz-Encore channels went dark on Altice USA systems on Jan. 1 after the previous contract expired. The sides traded barbs in the media, blaming each other for the impasse. The multi-year pact includes a provision for […]

After a six-week standoff, Starz and Altice USA have come to terms on a new carriage agreement. The 16 Starz-Encore channels went dark on Altice USA systems on Jan. 1 after the previous contract expired. The sides traded barbs in the media, blaming each other for the impasse. The multi-year pact includes a provision for […]

Lionsgate Execs: Altice Re-Up May Be “Imminent,” Others Eyeing CBS Pop Stake, “We’re Paying Attention” To M&A Race

During a conference call with Wall Street analysts about Lionsgate’s strong results in its fiscal third quarter, Starz chief Chris Albrecht noted progress in carriage talks with Altice to end a nearly six-week impasse on Optimum cable systems.
Responding to an analyst’s update that some local Optimum systems appear to have restored Starz, he clarified, “For the record, we’ve never taken the signal away from Altice, and we’re not really sure why they’re doing what they’re…

During a conference call with Wall Street analysts about Lionsgate’s strong results in its fiscal third quarter, Starz chief Chris Albrecht noted progress in carriage talks with Altice to end a nearly six-week impasse on Optimum cable systems. Responding to an analyst’s update that some local Optimum systems appear to have restored Starz, he clarified, “For the record, we’ve never taken the signal away from Altice, and we’re not really sure why they’re doing what they’re…

War Of Words Escalates In Starz-Altice Disputue

In the latest salvo in a nearly month-old carriage dispute, Starz has urged the Federal Communications Commission to enforce consumer protection rules that would require Altice USA to give Optimum cable subscribers 30 days’ notice before dropping programming.
Starz urges the FCC to take emergency action because it’s harming consumers. The network says it’s willing to provide programming under the old terms for the required 30 days.
“At last count, Starz is aware of nearly…

In the latest salvo in a nearly month-old carriage dispute, Starz has urged the Federal Communications Commission to enforce consumer protection rules that would require Altice USA to give Optimum cable subscribers 30 days’ notice before dropping programming. Starz urges the FCC to take emergency action because it’s harming consumers. The network says it’s willing to provide programming under the old terms for the required 30 days. “At last count, Starz is aware of nearly…

Starz Petitions FCC to End 3-Week Blackout for 4.9 Million Optimum Subscribers

Starz wants its New York fans of “Outlander” to see the show in 2018 — and its petitioning the Federal Communications Commission for Altice to make it happen.

The second-biggest premium network filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday, aiming to force the provider to restore its flagship station — along with Starz Encore and Movieplex  — to its 4.9 million Optimum customers in New York for the 30-day notice time mandated by FCC rules.

All 16 Starz channels went dark on Jan. 1 after failing to reach a new licensing deal with Altice. Since then, Starz’s petition added “Altice has followed a pattern of avoiding the inquiries and complaints of tens of thousands of its subscribers, also in violation of FCC rules.”

Also Read: Starz’s ‘Vida’ Explores Gentrification of Latino Neighborhoods… by Other Latinos

“The filing of today’s petition is the next step in our effort to ensure that Altice subscribers receive the full value of their subscription, including restoration of all Starz channels,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. “Starz has never stopped transmitting its service to Altice and it is time for them to do the right thing by either restoring the service or giving our customers a refund.”

Altice fired back in its own statement, saying the petition was “without merit,” and called out Starz’s ratings to boot.

“Given that Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz’s 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,” Altice said in its statement. “We have offered and remain open to a deal with Starz to offer the content to customers who want it but they refuse.”

Also Read: Starz Propels Lionsgate to Strong Q2

Altice USA is a New York-based subsidiary of Altice, a Netherlands-based multinational telecom giant founded and headed by the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi. It is the second largest telecom company in France, behind Orange. Altice acquired Cablevision in 2016, and Altice USA operates Optimum and Suddenlink.

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Starz wants its New York fans of “Outlander” to see the show in 2018 — and its petitioning the Federal Communications Commission for Altice to make it happen.

The second-biggest premium network filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday, aiming to force the provider to restore its flagship station — along with Starz Encore and Movieplex  — to its 4.9 million Optimum customers in New York for the 30-day notice time mandated by FCC rules.

All 16 Starz channels went dark on Jan. 1 after failing to reach a new licensing deal with Altice. Since then, Starz’s petition added “Altice has followed a pattern of avoiding the inquiries and complaints of tens of thousands of its subscribers, also in violation of FCC rules.”

“The filing of today’s petition is the next step in our effort to ensure that Altice subscribers receive the full value of their subscription, including restoration of all Starz channels,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. “Starz has never stopped transmitting its service to Altice and it is time for them to do the right thing by either restoring the service or giving our customers a refund.”

Altice fired back in its own statement, saying the petition was “without merit,” and called out Starz’s ratings to boot.

“Given that Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz’s 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,” Altice said in its statement. “We have offered and remain open to a deal with Starz to offer the content to customers who want it but they refuse.”

Altice USA is a New York-based subsidiary of Altice, a Netherlands-based multinational telecom giant founded and headed by the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi. It is the second largest telecom company in France, behind Orange. Altice acquired Cablevision in 2016, and Altice USA operates Optimum and Suddenlink.

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Starz’s Chris Albrecht On Altice Standoff: “I Expect That We Will Get a Deal’ – TCA

In what has become a regular occurrence as TV networks and cable/satellite providers squabble over carriage fees, Starz‘s channels have been dark on Altice USA systems, servicing 4.9 subscribers, since January 1.
Albrecht didn’t mince words about Altice and its management, blasting them for not rebating customers who had paid their Starz monthly fee. (Altice had argued that viewers could access Starz via the standalone app.)
“This is a company that’s been beaten up,”…

In what has become a regular occurrence as TV networks and cable/satellite providers squabble over carriage fees, Starz's channels have been dark on Altice USA systems, servicing 4.9 subscribers, since January 1. Albrecht didn’t mince words about Altice and its management, blasting them for not rebating customers who had paid their Starz monthly fee. (Altice had argued that viewers could access Starz via the standalone app.) "This is a company that's been beaten up,"…

Altice to Split Its European and U.S. Business Units Amid Financial Storm

Altice is set to separate its European and American business entities, Altice USA Inc., which is listed at the New York stock exchange, and the Netherlands-based Altice NV. While Altice USA, which represents about 40% of Altice’s global revenues and regroups Cablevision and Suddenlink, performed well during the third quarter of 2017, Altice NV (renamed […]

Altice is set to separate its European and American business entities, Altice USA Inc., which is listed at the New York stock exchange, and the Netherlands-based Altice NV. While Altice USA, which represents about 40% of Altice’s global revenues and regroups Cablevision and Suddenlink, performed well during the third quarter of 2017, Altice NV (renamed […]

Starz, Altice Working To Reach “Fair And Reasonable” Distribution Agreement

Starz Networks recently gave a statement in regards to the status of negotiations with Altice which could see a potential loss of all of Starz’s programming services when its distribution partnership expires at midnight Jan. 1.
“Starz has been working in good faith to reach a fair and reasonable distribution agreement with the team at Altice in order to continue providing our subscribers with all 17 Starz, StarzEncore, and MoviePlex premium channels,” Starz said in a…

Starz Networks recently gave a statement in regards to the status of negotiations with Altice which could see a potential loss of all of Starz’s programming services when its distribution partnership expires at midnight Jan. 1. "Starz has been working in good faith to reach a fair and reasonable distribution agreement with the team at Altice in order to continue providing our subscribers with all 17 Starz, StarzEncore, and MoviePlex premium channels,” Starz said in a…

Starz, Optimum’s Parent Company Go Down to the New Year’s Wire for New Deal

The clock is ticking on negotiations between Starz and Altice over distribution, which is set to expire at midnight Sunday.

Partnership between the satellite network and Altice, the Euro-based telecoms company that acquired Cablevision in 2016, has run aground, with Starz saying, “Altice is demanding a totally unreasonable agreement unlike anything that has previously existed in our 20-year partnership.”

Altice — who is asking for price reductions while Starz is asking for market rates — counters that, attributing the negotiation stalemate to Starz’s declining viewership on its systems and their increase in programming costs.

Also Read: ESPN Blackout Avoided as Disney and Cable Giant Altice USA Reach a Deal

“Since our last contract renewal, Starz began offering a direct to consumer streaming service, which drastically changes the value proposition their network provides us and our customers,” Altice said in a statement.

“Regardless, Starz is asking for outrageous increases in programming costs and, given the limited viewership of Starz amongst our customer base and the different ways consumers can directly access Starz content, we are working to reach an agreement that is reasonable and reflects the best interests of all our customers.”

Starz took out ads in Saturday’s New York Times and New York Post, warning its 4.9 million subscribers across 21 states — much of which serves African-American, Hispanic, women and LGBTQ viewers — of possible blackout come midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“We urge [Altice] to join with us in working to reach an agreement that is fair, reasonable and operates in the best interests of our customers,” Starz said continued, “many of whom cannot otherwise find programming that speaks directly to them.”

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The clock is ticking on negotiations between Starz and Altice over distribution, which is set to expire at midnight Sunday.

Partnership between the satellite network and Altice, the Euro-based telecoms company that acquired Cablevision in 2016, has run aground, with Starz saying, “Altice is demanding a totally unreasonable agreement unlike anything that has previously existed in our 20-year partnership.”

Altice — who is asking for price reductions while Starz is asking for market rates — counters that, attributing the negotiation stalemate to Starz’s declining viewership on its systems and their increase in programming costs.

“Since our last contract renewal, Starz began offering a direct to consumer streaming service, which drastically changes the value proposition their network provides us and our customers,” Altice said in a statement.

“Regardless, Starz is asking for outrageous increases in programming costs and, given the limited viewership of Starz amongst our customer base and the different ways consumers can directly access Starz content, we are working to reach an agreement that is reasonable and reflects the best interests of all our customers.”

Starz took out ads in Saturday’s New York Times and New York Post, warning its 4.9 million subscribers across 21 states — much of which serves African-American, Hispanic, women and LGBTQ viewers — of possible blackout come midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“We urge [Altice] to join with us in working to reach an agreement that is fair, reasonable and operates in the best interests of our customers,” Starz said continued, “many of whom cannot otherwise find programming that speaks directly to them.”

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Starz, Altice Battle Over New Carriage Agreement as New Year’s Eve Deadline Looms

Starz and Altice USA are going down to the wire on a new carriage agreement that could result in Starz going dark on the cable operator as of Jan. 1. Starz took ads out in the New York Times and New York Post on Saturday warning Altice subscribers that they could soon lose the pay […]

Starz and Altice USA are going down to the wire on a new carriage agreement that could result in Starz going dark on the cable operator as of Jan. 1. Starz took ads out in the New York Times and New York Post on Saturday warning Altice subscribers that they could soon lose the pay […]

Altice Signs Deals with France’s Metropolitan, TF1 Group

Altice has signed a licensing agreement with Samuel and Victor Hadida’s Metropolitan, one of France’s top independent production/distribution companies. Under the deal, Altice Studio, the newly-launched channel dedicated to movies and TV shows, will gain first window rights to more than 20 films starting this month. The agreement undercores Altice’s ambition to access premium films […]

Altice has signed a licensing agreement with Samuel and Victor Hadida’s Metropolitan, one of France’s top independent production/distribution companies. Under the deal, Altice Studio, the newly-launched channel dedicated to movies and TV shows, will gain first window rights to more than 20 films starting this month. The agreement undercores Altice’s ambition to access premium films […]

Altice USA Shares Drop But Brass Stays Cool: “We Are Extremely Comfortable”

Altice USA has seen its share price drop by 11% on triple its average trading volume today, reaching $22.12, well below its initial public offering price of $31.60 in June, but top executives say they are not planning any emergency measures.
“We are comfortable with the leverage that we have,” said Dennis Okhuljsen, CFO of the U.S. unit’s France-based parent company, Altice, during a conference call today with financial analysts. Despite above-average debt, which it does…

Altice USA has seen its share price drop by 11% on triple its average trading volume today, reaching $22.12, well below its initial public offering price of $31.60 in June, but top executives say they are not planning any emergency measures. "We are comfortable with the leverage that we have," said Dennis Okhuljsen, CFO of the U.S. unit's France-based parent company, Altice, during a conference call today with financial analysts. Despite above-average debt, which it does…

Altice Acquires Exclusive French Rights to ‘Absentia’

Altice has acquired exclusive French rights to “Absentia,” Oded Ruskin (“False Flag”)’s psychological thriller series produced by Sony Pictures Television. Created by Gaia Violo and Matt Cirulnick, “Absentia” stars Stana Katic (“Castle”) as a young FBI agent who goes missing while conducting an investigation on Boston’s most famous serial killer. She is found barely alive […]

Altice has acquired exclusive French rights to “Absentia,” Oded Ruskin (“False Flag”)’s psychological thriller series produced by Sony Pictures Television. Created by Gaia Violo and Matt Cirulnick, “Absentia” stars Stana Katic (“Castle”) as a young FBI agent who goes missing while conducting an investigation on Boston’s most famous serial killer. She is found barely alive […]

Disney, Altice Strike New Carriage Deal

Walt Disney Company and Altice said they had come to new terms on a carriage deal that will keep ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, among other networks available to thousands of households in the New York and Connecticut, among other localities. Under the terms, Altice’s Optimum cable service will continue to provide access to WABC […]

Walt Disney Company and Altice said they had come to new terms on a carriage deal that will keep ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, among other networks available to thousands of households in the New York and Connecticut, among other localities. Under the terms, Altice’s Optimum cable service will continue to provide access to WABC […]

Disney & Altice Reach Carriage Deal

After weeks of stalemate over their carriage deal, the Walt Disney Company and the country’s No. 4 cable operator Altice USA have reached an agreement. Here is their release:
Altice USA and The Walt Disney Company today announced a comprehensive distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of premier sports, news and entertainment content to Optimum video customers across television and streaming devices. The new agreement reinforces the multichannel business…

After weeks of stalemate over their carriage deal, the Walt Disney Company and the country’s No. 4 cable operator Altice USA have reached an agreement. Here is their release: Altice USA and The Walt Disney Company today announced a comprehensive distribution agreement to deliver Disney's robust lineup of premier sports, news and entertainment content to Optimum video customers across television and streaming devices. The new agreement reinforces the multichannel business…

Analysis: For Disney, Altice Was Not Just Another Deal

The prospect of TV channels going dark due to a standoff between a media conglomerate and an MVPD has become so commonplace in recent years that it barely registers anymore. And with less than 4% of Disney’s total TV reach coming through its New York-based cable TV footprint, Altice USA may not have loomed too […]

The prospect of TV channels going dark due to a standoff between a media conglomerate and an MVPD has become so commonplace in recent years that it barely registers anymore. And with less than 4% of Disney’s total TV reach coming through its New York-based cable TV footprint, Altice USA may not have loomed too […]

Latest Sign of ESPN’s Lost Clout: Disney’s Standoff With Cable Giant Altice USA

This Yom Kippur, Disney will find out whether it has to atone for its high carriage fees as it faces off with a cable giant in a rapidly changing pay-TV world where sports may no longer dictate the rules of the game.

Disney and cable provider Altice USA — the French company that acquired Cablevision in 2015 — have been embroiled in a months-long negotiation that is nearing a crucial deadline with no resolution in sight.

And last Friday, Disney started running ads threatening to pull its programming from Altice’s Optimum cable subscribers if a new deal is not reached by the end of the month.

Earlier Friday, the two sides extended the deadline from September 30 to 5 p.m. ET on October 1, to compensate for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which ends at sundown Saturday.

Also Read: Disney to Pull Their Movies From Netflix, Launch Streaming Service

If no deal is reached by then, Altice’s 3.1 million Optimum subscribers in the New York area will wake up on Sunday without ESPN, ABC, the Disney Channel and more — and could miss out on the much-anticipated Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so,” a Disney spokesperson told TheWrap. “Our company has never had a disruption of service for our family of networks and there is no reason that should change now.”

An Altice USA spokeswoman sent a statement to TheWrap: “Despite the fact that viewership of their programming by Optimum customers has been declining in the double digits for years, ESPN and its owner are demanding double the rates for ABC for the same content they offer today, exorbitant fee increases for ESPN, and are trying to force customers who don’t receive ESPN to have to pay for it.”

Also Read: ‘Hocus Pocus’ TV Movie a Go at Disney Channel

She also called ESPN the “most expensive basic cable channel in history,” adding that any decision to pull the networks would be Disney’s choice, but that Altice wants to keep the programming while it continues to negotiate.

Altice’s game of chicken with ESPN is a watershed moment in pay television, as cord-cutting has put significant pricing pressure on traditional cable operators.

ESPN, which is the most expensive cable channel by far — costing providers more than $7 per subscriber, according to SNL Kagan — has been the highest profile casualty of the shift toward cheaper, internet TV products. The once-mighty sports network has dropped from a peak of more than 100 million subscribers in 2011 to fewer than 88 million today.

Also Read: Disney CEO Bob Iger Says New Disney-Branded Streaming Service Will Be ‘Global Product’

In a September 25 research note, analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG, an outspoken Disney bear who has been blocked on Twitter by CEO Bob Iger, said Disney has “little choice but to fold to Altice.”

Greenfield placed a sell rating on Disney in December 2015, citing its dependence on cable networks and overspending on sports rights — and the company’s stock is down 14 percent since.

“While battles between programmers and distributors are nothing new, the media landscape has shifted rapidly over the past several years,” he wrote. “Legacy negotiating tactics based on bullying/threatening distributors and gouging consumers may not work the way have in the past.”

In a September 18 note, Greenfield mentioned that the emergence of streaming services with a smaller — and cheaper — bundle of channels means networks like ESPN are in a much weaker negotiating position.

Also Read: Netflix vs. Disney: Why the Companies Are Waging ‘Studio-on-Studio Violence’

Before services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now hit the market, sports fans who subscribe to cable in large part for live games didn’t have other options.

But now, if an Altice were to drop ESPN, die-hard fans could sign up for YouTube TV or Sling while those subscribers who didn’t care about sports — particularly the regional sports networks ESPN requires many providers to carry — could enjoy a substantially cheaper cable bill. And advances in digital antennas have made receiving broadcast stations like ABC in full-HD quality fairly easy.

“Back in 2012, there was no easy way for a subscriber to add-back ESPN during a carriage drop, unless they were willing to place a satellite dish on their roof or there was a telco offering video service,” Greenfield wrote. “Today, with a few clicks on their computer or mobile device, a consumer can add ESPN via an array of [streaming services], costing as little as $20/month (via Sling) and they can sign up for however long/short they want.”

Also Read: Disney Will Put ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel Movies on New Streaming Service

Those non-ESPN watchers could feel in their heavier wallets how much they actually paid for the sports network before, which could further deteriorate ESPN’s negotiating position.

And ESPN is stuck between a rock and a hard place: Disney recognizes the disruption in pay-TV, and is planning its own ESPN-branded streaming service, but the fees it paid for live sports rights at the height of the pay-TV industry have to recouped somehow.

With millions of subscribers fleeing ESPN — and President Donald Trump attacking the network for what he feels is a liberal political agenda of on-air hosts — Altice is as emboldened as any cable provider to stand up to the sports behemoth.

Also Read: Disney Will Put ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel Movies on New Streaming Service

Disney says that the fees it’s seeking make up a tiny fraction of what Altice charges its customers. The requested fee for WABC, the market’s most-watched station, is less than 1/15th of the $34 baseline price for Optimum’s “broadcast basic” package, the Mouse House argues. (The sticker price on that is $19.99, but it’s an extra $14 for the cable box and surcharge.)

But if Altice doesn’t think it can pass those fees on to its consumers without losing market share to streaming competitors, those relatively small numbers become a bigger deal.

ESPN has never had a disruption of service, but it’s always dealt from a position of strength. But now, the channel that brought televised poker into the mainstream has to navigate its own high-stakes game.

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This Yom Kippur, Disney will find out whether it has to atone for its high carriage fees as it faces off with a cable giant in a rapidly changing pay-TV world where sports may no longer dictate the rules of the game.

Disney and cable provider Altice USA — the French company that acquired Cablevision in 2015 — have been embroiled in a months-long negotiation that is nearing a crucial deadline with no resolution in sight.

And last Friday, Disney started running ads threatening to pull its programming from Altice’s Optimum cable subscribers if a new deal is not reached by the end of the month.

Earlier Friday, the two sides extended the deadline from September 30 to 5 p.m. ET on October 1, to compensate for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which ends at sundown Saturday.

If no deal is reached by then, Altice’s 3.1 million Optimum subscribers in the New York area will wake up on Sunday without ESPN, ABC, the Disney Channel and more — and could miss out on the much-anticipated Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We remain fully committed to reaching a deal and are hopeful we can do so,” a Disney spokesperson told TheWrap. “Our company has never had a disruption of service for our family of networks and there is no reason that should change now.”

An Altice USA spokeswoman sent a statement to TheWrap: “Despite the fact that viewership of their programming by Optimum customers has been declining in the double digits for years, ESPN and its owner are demanding double the rates for ABC for the same content they offer today, exorbitant fee increases for ESPN, and are trying to force customers who don’t receive ESPN to have to pay for it.”

She also called ESPN the “most expensive basic cable channel in history,” adding that any decision to pull the networks would be Disney’s choice, but that Altice wants to keep the programming while it continues to negotiate.

Altice’s game of chicken with ESPN is a watershed moment in pay television, as cord-cutting has put significant pricing pressure on traditional cable operators.

ESPN, which is the most expensive cable channel by far — costing providers more than $7 per subscriber, according to SNL Kagan — has been the highest profile casualty of the shift toward cheaper, internet TV products. The once-mighty sports network has dropped from a peak of more than 100 million subscribers in 2011 to fewer than 88 million today.

In a September 25 research note, analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG, an outspoken Disney bear who has been blocked on Twitter by CEO Bob Iger, said Disney has “little choice but to fold to Altice.”

Greenfield placed a sell rating on Disney in December 2015, citing its dependence on cable networks and overspending on sports rights — and the company’s stock is down 14 percent since.

“While battles between programmers and distributors are nothing new, the media landscape has shifted rapidly over the past several years,” he wrote. “Legacy negotiating tactics based on bullying/threatening distributors and gouging consumers may not work the way have in the past.”

In a September 18 note, Greenfield mentioned that the emergence of streaming services with a smaller — and cheaper — bundle of channels means networks like ESPN are in a much weaker negotiating position.

Before services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now hit the market, sports fans who subscribe to cable in large part for live games didn’t have other options.

But now, if an Altice were to drop ESPN, die-hard fans could sign up for YouTube TV or Sling while those subscribers who didn’t care about sports — particularly the regional sports networks ESPN requires many providers to carry — could enjoy a substantially cheaper cable bill. And advances in digital antennas have made receiving broadcast stations like ABC in full-HD quality fairly easy.

“Back in 2012, there was no easy way for a subscriber to add-back ESPN during a carriage drop, unless they were willing to place a satellite dish on their roof or there was a telco offering video service,” Greenfield wrote. “Today, with a few clicks on their computer or mobile device, a consumer can add ESPN via an array of [streaming services], costing as little as $20/month (via Sling) and they can sign up for however long/short they want.”

Those non-ESPN watchers could feel in their heavier wallets how much they actually paid for the sports network before, which could further deteriorate ESPN’s negotiating position.

And ESPN is stuck between a rock and a hard place: Disney recognizes the disruption in pay-TV, and is planning its own ESPN-branded streaming service, but the fees it paid for live sports rights at the height of the pay-TV industry have to recouped somehow.

With millions of subscribers fleeing ESPN — and President Donald Trump attacking the network for what he feels is a liberal political agenda of on-air hosts — Altice is as emboldened as any cable provider to stand up to the sports behemoth.

Disney says that the fees it’s seeking make up a tiny fraction of what Altice charges its customers. The requested fee for WABC, the market’s most-watched station, is less than 1/15th of the $34 baseline price for Optimum’s “broadcast basic” package, the Mouse House argues. (The sticker price on that is $19.99, but it’s an extra $14 for the cable box and surcharge.)

But if Altice doesn’t think it can pass those fees on to its consumers without losing market share to streaming competitors, those relatively small numbers become a bigger deal.

ESPN has never had a disruption of service, but it’s always dealt from a position of strength. But now, the channel that brought televised poker into the mainstream has to navigate its own high-stakes game.

Related stories from TheWrap:

ESPN Chief John Skipper Says Network 'Is Not a Political Organization'

ESPN Shutters One of Its Channels to Cut Costs

Sage Steele on New 'SportsCenter' Role, ESPN's Evolution: 'Lot's of Changes at Our Network'