Altice USA, Disney Extend Cable Contract Expiration Deadline to Sunday

Altice USA and Disney have extended to Sunday the deadline for averting a blackout of ESPN, Disney Channel and other cablers for about 2.6 million New York-area subscribers.

The sides agreed to a 24-hour extension in light of the Yom Kippur holiday that begins Friday at sundown. The contract had been set to expire on Sept. 30. If a deal is not reached, the blackout would also extend to ABC’s New York flagship O&O, the highly rated WABC-TV New York.

Altice and Disney have been tussling publicly for more than a week over contract talks. Altice accuses Disney of seeking enormous increases for networks that are losing viewership. Disney maintains that it has been able to reach deals with virtually every other MVPD, including the new wave of digital upstarts.

The contract at issue covers Altice USA subscribers in the New York-area that came with the company’s 2015 acquisition of Cablevision. Altice has a reputation for driving hard bargains with programmers at its video services in Europe and elsewhere.

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