Fox, Altice USA in Tense Standoff as Carriage Dispute Nears Deadline

Empire Taraji P. Henson Terrence Howard Episodic - Publicity - H 2018
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox and Altice on Oct. 5 reached a new carriage agreement, restoring FX and FS1 programming to Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers.

Altice USA and 21st Century Fox have reached a new carriage agreement after an earlier impasse as their carriage dispute neared a Sept. 30 deadline for a new deal.

Both sides on Oct. 5 reached a new deal, without specifying details on their latest agreement. "We are pleased to extend our relationship with Altice," a Fox Networks Group spokesperson said in a statement.

"Altice USA is focused on providing the highest quality entertainment experience at a great value, and we are pleased to reach a deal with Fox that ensures our Optimum and Suddenlink customers will continue to receive their programming," Altice USA said in its own statement.

The deal came nearly a week after the former distribution agreement expired. Fox formally started the carriage agreement renewal process in May, with the Altice USA agreement covering the Fox network, the FX channels, FS1 and Nat Geo, among others popular channels, in addition to several local Fox Sports networks.

The Fox News Channel and YES Network channels are assets not up for renewal at this time. For its part, Altice USA earlier expressed frustration with the carriage renewal talks having reached an impasse, leading to Fox's threat to pull programming.

"We are currently negotiating with 21st Century Fox and are disappointed that they have started threatening to black out certain channels in an effort to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in new fees from us and our customers," Altice USA said as the carriage talks reached an impasse. "Programming costs are the greatest contributor to rising cable costs, and we urge Fox to stop its threats and instead focus on negotiating an agreement that is fair for consumers."

Fox earlier launched a marketing campaign centered on the New York TV market to warn Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers that the fans of the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants and Major League Baseball face the possibility that Altice USA may drop Fox and FS1 during the height of football season and as baseball's postseason starts.

Oct. 5, 3 p.m. Updated with statements after Altice USA and Fox Network Group reached a new carriage deal.