Optimum Cable Drops Starz, Forces Users to On-Demand Service

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According to a report from App.com (part of the USA Today network), Optimum Cable has officially stopped offering the Starz movie network. The New England-based telecommunications company explained that the move has to do with a disagreement over pricing.

The App.com article states that Optimum Cable’s parent company, Altice USA, was unable to reach a deal with Starz. It cites an Altice USA media statement that explains, “Despite numerous attempts by Altice USA to reach a deal with Starz for continued carriage in video packages and a la carte carriage, Starz refused all offers, including an offer to extend our current arrangement.”

Optimum’s explanation to its customers says “we believe it is in the best interest of all our customers to replace Starz and StarzEncore with several new and exciting channels” including Hallmark Drama and the Cowboy Channel.

The disagreement appears to extend from Starz’s desire to raise its prices. The company hoped to utilize increased prices through Optimum Cable to help subsidize the cost of its own on-demand streaming service.

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For its part, Starz has set up a website to defend itself against Altice USA’s actions. The website, KeepStarz.com, places the blame on Altice USA and Optimum Cable for letting the agreement expire. It lists all of the Starz original content and Starz-owned channels that Optimum subscribers are losing. The site also provides disgruntled Optimum customers with contact information for Optimum Cable.

Optimum Cable currently operates in four states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Over 80 percent of its customer base is split almost evenly between New York and New Jersey. As a whole, the service boasts over 12 million subscribers, placing it in 4th place among other U.S. cable companies.

Any Optimum Cable customers hoping to get Starz back can petition Optimum for a return, or sign up for the Starz on-demand service for $8.99 per month.

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