×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Altice Returns Fire at FCC Against Starz as Tyler Perry, 50 Cent Weigh in on Carriage Battle

Altice USA has fired back at Starz over the cable network’s FCC request for emergency injunctive relief in the carriage standoff that is now in its fourth week.

Starz has been dark on Altice USA systems since Jan. 1. Last week, Starz asked the FCC to order Starz-Encore channels back on Altice USA systems because the operator violated FCC rules regarding giving subscribers notice of a major programming change. Altice on Tuesday argued in its response to the FCC that Starz’ complaint “has no basis in fact, law or policy.”

Altice argued that it did not violate the FCC rule requiring 30 days notice of a major programming change like the loss of a channels group because Altice had no certainty until the wee hours of Dec. 31 that the 17 Starz-Encore channels would go dark. Negotiations were ongoing up through New Year’s Eve. Although Starz has maintained that it never ordered Altice to drop the channels, the expiration of the previous contract meant that Altice had no legal right to carry the Starz-Encore group after Dec. 31.

Altice in its response accuses Starz of seeking to have the FCC intervene in what amounts to a private business dispute. Altice USA serves about 3.4 million video customers, most of them in the Long Island-Connecticut region under the Optimum brand that was once owned by Cablevision

“This negotiation failed not because of any violation of the Commission’s rules, but because Starz sought a price that makes no economic sense for Altice and its customers,” Altice said.  “There is no Commission rule or precedent that permits this marketplace result to be overturned or upset.”

As the blackout stretches on, Starz has marshaled support from boldface names including Tyler Perry to urge subscribers to complain to Altice over the loss of original programs including dramas “Power,” “Outlander,” and “American Gods.” In a video message posted on Perry’s Facebook page, the multi-hyphenate star cites the toll-free complaint number and KeepStarz.com website.

“Blow them up, leave your messages, leave your tweets,” Perry says. “All y’all in New York, you know what to do. You’ve been at the Beacon (theater) with me. You know what to do.”

Meanwhile, “Power” exec producer and co-star Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson posted a video on Instagram this past weekend that featured him following an Optimum service van in a car while cursing the cable operator for taking his show off the air. He half-seriously threatens to run into the van. “They better put my m———— show back on the air,” he grumbles in the video. Season 5 of the crime drama is expected to premiere on Starz this summer.

The social media post rattled Altice executives because the license plate of the Optimum van is clearly visible in the video, leading to concern that the driver could be vulnerable to an enraged fan.

“The safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority and it is outrageous that a commercial dispute has led to the threat of violence against our employees,” Altice said in a statement. “This behavior is reprehensible and should not be tolerated, and we will do everything in our power to protect our employees following this public threat of violence.”

More TV

  • Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman

    Longtime '60 Minutes' Producer Alan Weisman Dies at 68

    Alan Weisman, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes” known for his work with Morley Safer, died Thursday at his home in New Jersey of natural causes. He was 68. Weisman produced some of Safer’s most memorable “60 Minutes” segments, including the 1984 profile of Jackie Gleason and the 1989 jailhouse interview that brought national attention [...]

  • Khloe KardashianKhloe Kardashian, Emma Grede and

    Khloe Kardashian To 'Bachelor' Creator: 'Stop Or You Will Be Hearing From My Lawyers'

    UPDATE: Khloe Kardashian slams “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss’ claims she could be the next “Bachelorette.” And her sister Kim Kardashian West has her back. I’m not fucking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers. How insensitive!! https://t.co/vTKi83nLUJ — Khloé (@khloekardashian) February 24, 2019 The time has come to choose a [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content