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Starz and Altice USA Set Carriage Deal, Ending Six-Week Blackout

After a six-week standoff, Starz and Altice USA have come to terms on a new carriage agreement.

The 16 Starz-Encore channels went dark on Altice USA systems on Jan. 1 after the previous contract expired. The sides traded barbs in the media, blaming each other for the impasse. The multi-year pact includes a provision for Altice USA to offer Starz’s standalone streaming app as a bundle with Altice’s broadband service.

Starz’s launch of its streaming app had become a bone of contention for Altice, which maintained that Starz was asking for a fee increase that would force Altice to charge more for the premium channel package than the retail price of the standalone app.

Starz and Altice said the deal also expands Starz’s traditional linear distribution on the nation’s fourth-largest cable operator, which serves the Long Island area and other parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

“Our goal is to give customers the flexibility, choice and entertainment they want at a great value, and we appreciate their patience while we worked to reach a deal that was in their best interest,” said Hakim Boubazine, co-president and COO of Altice USA. “Through this new expanded arrangement, we are pleased to provide Starz’ wide array of programming on traditional and digital platforms, and look forward to working with Starz to continue to serve the diverse needs of our customer base across the U.S.”

The deal gives Altice expanded access to Starz programming on VOD and authenticated streaming platforms.

“Starz is very pleased that both companies found a mutually beneficial way to expand our relationship over the next several years to offer the best content possible to millions of Altice USA subscribers,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, COO of Starz. “In addition to the thousands of blockbuster and library movies Starz offers, we believe Altice USA values our company’s programming commitment to create and deliver premium quality original series that serve traditionally underserved audiences. By working together, both companies are in a stronger position to provide the best content and products to our shared customers.”

(Pictured: Starz’s “Outlander”)

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