Starz Wants FCC to Force Altice USA's Hand

Asks commission to require channels be restored in NY market
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Starz said it has asked the FCC to intervene to get its networks back on Altice USA (Optimum) in New York.

The company filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC more than 10 days ago, following that up this week with an emergency petition for injunctive relief.

TCA 2018: Starz's Chris Albrecht Calls Altice USA ‘Disingenuous’ in Carriage Dispute

Starz wants Altice USA to "restore carriage of Starz, StarzEncore and Movieplex for the FCC-required 30-day notice period; correct Altice’s misleading and false disclosures regarding its deletions of Starz’s channels; and respond to consumer inquiries and complaints in compliance with FCC rules."

Related: New York Reps Push Altice, Starz to Reach Carriage Deal

Starz went dark to Altice USA subscribers Jan. 1. The channels are off Altice USA's Cablevision and Suddenlink systems, though it was only carried a la carte on Suddenlink, which is what Altice wants for Cablevision systems as well. 

“The filing of today’s petition is the next step in our effort to ensure that Altice subscribers receive the full value of their subscription, including restoration of all Starz channels,” said Starz president Chris Albrecht.

"These claims are without merit and we will file our response in due course," Altice USA said in a statement about the FCC complaint.

Altice USA called the claims meritless and said it would respond to the charges "in due course."

"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," the company 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. We have offered and remain open to a deal with Starz to offer the content to customers who want it but they refuse."

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