The deadline for Disney and Altice, who operates the Optimum cable service, has been extended to Sunday from Saturday due to the Yom Kippur jewish holiday. The two organizations are struggling to strike a deal as Optimum sees ESPN’s ratings shrink while Disney believes they provide a good value to cable companies.
This is the first round of major cable carriage renegotiations as Optimum is the fourth largest operator in the United States. The terms agreed to will set a framework for future negotiations with other TV providers.
There is no question that cable networks have seen a decline in viewership as consumers “cord cut” and the options for entertainment and information have expanded. Disney is trying to make-up for their losses by launching ESPN and Disney branded direct-to-consumer offerings which may be seen as a threat by traditional cable operators despite that Disney has said they remain committed to offering traditional linear networks through cable providers and continue to see them as partners.