Following the announcement on October 1st of a tentative carriage deal that averted a potential blackout of Disney-owned channels in nearly 2.6 million homes in the greater New York area served by the cable MSO Altice USA’s Optimum cable TV service, Altice USA and The Walt Disney Company have announced a comprehensive distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s lineup of premier sports, news and entertainment content to Optimum video customers across television and streaming devices. The new agreement reinforces the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.
As part of the new multi-year agreement, Optimum will continue to provide its customers widespread 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 also expect to collaborate on ESPN’s direct-to-consumer product, which is slated to launch in early 2018, and have agreed to leverage Altice USA’s data analytics platform.
“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,” advised Michael Schreiber, EVP and chief content officer, Altice USA. “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.”
“This agreement with Altice demonstrates the tremendous value and importance of ESPN, Disney and ABC content to any distributor,” added Justin Connolly, EVP, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “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.”
Optimum customers will continue to receive full streaming access to existing authenticated apps such as ABC, Freeform, DisneyNOW (Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD) and ESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Bases Loaded). These products give Optimum customers the flexibility to stream live and on-demand, both in home and out of home, on their computers, phones, tablets, gaming consoles and smart TVs.