There is good news and not-really-good news for sports fans who subscribe to Altice USA’s Optimum cable television service. The good news: Altice and ESPN settled their differences, thus averting the removal of ESPN and other Disney-owned channels from the Optimum lineup. The not-really-good news: Optimum customers are going to pay more.
Altice USA plans to increase its Broadcast Basic package monthly charge to $20 next month while serving up a one-time $4 fee to existing customers who signed up for this package, plus an additional “sports surcharge” on premium tiers for Connecticut subscribers to its Optimum Value” package.
In return, Altice will add two ESPN-backed sports channels in 2018, the SEC Network and the ACC Network, while dropping the ESPN Classic channel from the premium packages offered to Connecticut subscribers.
“Altice USA is focused on providing the highest quality video and service experience to our customers at a great value, and our successful arrangement with The Walt Disney Co. ensures that our Optimum customers will continue to receive the programming they want at a reasonable cost,” said Michael Schreiber, executive vice president and chief content officer at Altice USA. 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.”