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The cable company and Fox Corp. are in the midst of carriage negotiations and remain deadlocked over fees. As such, both the cable company and Fox are warning subscribers of the potential for “imminent” disruption.
Fox carries NFL games and the MLB playoffs, as well as shows like The Masked Singer, while Fox News remains one of the most-watched cable channels. In other words, the stakes are significant.
Altice is a mid-sized cable provider, with about 2.6 million video subscribers (it uses the Optimum brand name for its services). However, it has an extensive footprint within the New York TV market (specifically parts of New York City and many of the surrounding suburbs), which makes it a critical provider for entertainment companies.
The Fox/Altice dispute is the second significant carriage fight in just the last month. Earlier this month ABC, ESPN, FX and other Disney channels were briefly pulled from Dish Network in a similar dispute. The companies came to terms after just a few days.
“Fox remains committed to reaching a fair agreement with Altice for Optimum’s continued distribution of our networks,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. “Despite our best efforts for months, we regret that Altice continues to demand special treatment and reject marketplace terms, compelling us to alert our loyal viewers of a potential blackout of all Fox channels by Optimum.”
“Optimum is committed to keeping our customers connected to the TV content they love, and we are currently in active negotiations with Fox Networks to continue carrying its suite of channels at a reasonable rate that reflects the best interest of our customers,” an Altice spokesperson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Fox Networks is demanding unprecedented and excessive fee increases that would raise TV bills. We are working hard to reach a fair deal for our customers and to avoid any disruption.”
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