Disney, Altice USA reveal distribution agreement details | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Attempting to put their retrans row very firmly behind them, The Walt Disney Company and Altice USA have revealed the full extent of their new multi-year deal to provide sports, news and entertainment over TV and streaming devices.

espn 24 sept 2017At the height of the dispute, the fourth largest cable company in the country had said that Disney was asking it to “pay hundreds of millions of dollars more in retransmission costs and sports programming fees, among other outrageous anti-consumer demands” — including demanding double the rates for ABC for the same content it currently offered, “exorbitant” fee increases for ESPN and that the House Of Mouse was trying to force customers who don’t receive ESPN to have to pay for it. It’s a state of affairs that the cableco said impeded it from offering more flexible video packages for customers and which contributed to rising cable bills.

The new agreement is said to reinforce the multichannel business model and the companies say that it also supports their mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms. Altice Optimum will continue to provide its customers access to WABC, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN3 and Freeform, as well as make available additional multiplatform, digital and expanded on-demand content from The Walt Disney Company. Optimum will add ESPN’s SEC Network in late 2018 and launch ACC Network, in place of another ESPN network, in August 2019.

The companies have also agreed to make use of Altice USA’s data analytics platform and expect to collaborate on ESPN’s eagerly-awaited direct-to-consumer product, which is slated to launch in early 2018. Announced in August 2017, the new offer threatens to shake up the current over-the-top (OTT) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) arenas, with not just an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service in early 2018, but also by a new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.

“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,” remarked ** Altice USA www.alticeusa.com *** EVP and chief content officer Michael Schreiber. “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.”

Added Justin Connolly, EVP, Disney and ESPN Media Networks: “This agreement with Altice demonstrates the tremendous value and importance of ESPN, Disney and ABC content to any distributor. 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.”