Optimum cable TV operator Altice USA said in a statement it is “hundreds of millions of dollars” apart from Walt Disney in negotiations for a new carriage agreement, and that Walt Disney has threatened to pull popular networks like ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel.
Bethpage-based Altice said it has offered Walt Disney “a reasonable rate” even though Optimum viewership of ESPN programming has been declining “in the double digits for years.” It said Walt Disney is demanding “exorbitant” fee increases for ESPN and doubled rates for ABC.
In its own statement distributed to media outlets, Burbank, California-based Disney wrote it is “fully committed to reaching a deal” and is “hopeful” it can do so.
The New York Times reported that Disney has warned customers its channels could go dark Oct. 1 with no new contract.
Altice USA owns 25 percent of Newsday Media Group.