Many customers were promised certain benefits but find they are charged a rate without receiving promised services. Customers have been paying for Starz but not receiving it. The reasons for the dispute have been debated by each side. One media outlet discusses the positions of each,
“Starz and Encore channels went dark on Altice USA cable systems in New York area as the new year dawned and the sides failed to come to terms on a new carriage agreement. Altice said in a statement that Starz refused the MVPD’s efforts to set a short-term contract extension while negotiations continued past the midnight ET deadline. Starz said it remained open to negotiations and blamed Altice for yanking the channels.
Altice USA, which serves about 4.9 million subscribers in the New York area as well as in Midwestern states, maintains that Starz is seeking rate hikes that would force Altice to charge its subscribers more than the cost of Starz’s stand-alone streaming service.
“We are focused on providing the best content experience for our customers and continually evaluate which channels meet their needs and preferences relative to the cost of the programming imposed by content owners,” Altice USA said in a statement. “Given that Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz’ own over-the-top streaming service, we don’t believe it makes sense to charge all of our customers for Starz programming, particularly when their viewership is declining and the majority of our customers don’t watch Starz.”
Altice emphasized that subscribers who want Starz-Encore can easily access the programming by subscribing to the streaming app directly from Starz. Starz counters that it has been able to set carriage pacts with MVPDs including Verizon Fios and Hulu’s digital channel package service in recent months. Altice is said to have offered to package Starz as an a la carte streaming option with its broadband service.
Starz Channels Go Dark in New York Area Amid Altice USA Contract Fight
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