French cable company Altice USA Inc. (ATUS) , which acquired cable provider Cablevision in 2016, is in contract negotiations with Disney Co. (DIS) that could result in the black out of ABC and ESPN, among other channels, in the New York tri-state area if a deal is not struck before the current contract expires on September 30.
NBC News sources said Disney is looking for a "gigantic" rate increase for the right to broadcast its package of channels. If the two companies cannot come to terms on a new contract, blackouts of Disney channels for Altice subscribers are possible.
"While I'm not going to comment on specific negotiations, efforts by broadcasters and sports networks to extract significantly higher fees from distributors - particularly when viewership of their programming is declining - are the greatest contributor to rising cable bills," Altice said in an emailed statement to TheStreet. "We are always working hard to keep these costs as low as possible for consumers by negotiating carriage agreements that are reasonable and in the best interest of all our customers."
Altice USA shares were down nearly 3% Monday afternoon while Disney shares decreased 0.6%.
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