Starz, Altice End Carriage Dispute With New Multi-Year Deal

Courtesy of Starz

The 'Outlander' broadcaster will see its full suite of Starz channels return to the Altice USA platform after being pulled on New Year's Eve.

The battle over the monetary value of Starz channels on the Altice USA platform is over after both sides ended their contentious carriage dispute and struck a new deal.

The new multi-year deal secures rights for Altice USA to offer the full suite of Starz and Starz Encore premium linear and high-definition channels, on-demand, HD on-demand and online services across the Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Altice USA will also be able to sell the Starz app to its customers on the new Altice One entertainment service. The deal secures Starz a packaging position with Altice USA and expands its subscriber base.

Altice on Dec. 31, 2017, turned up the heat on its carriage dispute with Starz by pulling the Starz programming on Altice's Optimum cable TV service in the northeast U.S. market.

Starz, a division of Lionsgate, argued Altice USA was asking for unreasonable terms to seal a new deal. Altice countered that Starz was demanding steep hikes in programming costs that it could not afford as both sides worked toward an agreement.

"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,” Hakim Boubazine, co-president and COO of Altice USA, said in a statement.

Altice USA, which owns the former Cablevision Systems and a controlling stake in smaller cable firm Suddenlink, is the U.S. arm of European giant Altice.

"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," Jeffrey Hirsch, Starz COO, said in his own statement.