Walt Disney Company and Altice said they had come to new terms on a carriage deal that will keep ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel, among other networks available to thousands of households in the New York and Connecticut, among other localities.
Under the terms, Altice’s Optimum cable service will continue to provide access to WABC in New York, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN3 and Freeform, along with Disney content related to those outlets distributed via digital and on-demand. Optimum will add ESPN’s SEC Network in late 2018, and launch ACC Network in place of another ESPN network the companies did not name in August 2019. The companies said they would partner on ESPN’s direct-to-consumer product, a streaming-video sports service slated to launch in early 2018, and have agreed to make use of data analytics from Altice.
“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,” said Michael Schreiber, executive vice president and chief content officer of Altice USA, in a statement.
Just a few days ago, analysts expected talks between the two companies to break down and each side began running commercials touting talking points in the discussions. Disney suggested Altice would allow its networks to go off the air, while Altice indicated it thought Disney was charging too much for ESPN.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement or indicate how long it would be in place.