ESPN The Party

Following its deal with Disney to bring on more ESPN networks and increasing fees for various channels like the ESPN Mothership, ABC and Disney Channel, Altice plans to raise rates for subscribers of its Optimum systems in Connnecticut, New Jersey and New York.

It will begin charging $20/monthfor its “Broadcast Basic” package which is an increase of two to six dollars. And there will be new surcharges such as a $4 broadcast TV fee to Broadcast Basic, a sports surcharge to various premium packages and explains that it has to do so because of rising fees:

In a notification to the Connecticut regulators, Altice stated the changes are the result of “escalating fees charged by sports networks and broadcasters” without singling out by name Disney or its Bristol-based subsidiary ESPN.

The new deal will allow Altice to drop ESPN Classic and add SEC Network plus the ACC Network in 2019.

In addition, subscribers are going to pay more for higher tiers which include HBO and Cinemax. So the Disney deal spreads its tentacles to other tiers. And it means that subscribers are going to have to pay more for their cable.

With other pay TV providers about to negotiate with Disney, they can expect subscriber fee increases and subscribers can expect higher rates as well. It’s one reason why consumers are cutting the cord and looking elsewhere to watch TV.

Altice is the first to experience higher rates from Disney and thus it’s passing the hikes down to the consumer. This isn’t the first rate increase and it certainly won’t be the last. Once again, the ESPN family of networks have influenced rates.

The upcoming negotiations Disney will have with other cable and satellite providers will most likely bring rate hikes across the board. And for consumers, it only means that their bills will keep going up.

[The Hour]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.