September 29, 2017 / 5:40 PM / 24 days ago

Disney, Altice extend deadline to resolve programming dispute

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The deadline for an agreement on what cable operator Altice USA pays to carry Walt Disney Co’s ESPN, ABC, the Disney Channel and other networks has been extended to Sunday from Saturday due to the Yom Kippur holiday, a person familiar with the situation said.

FILE PHOTO: ESPN logo and building are shown in down town Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

If no deal is reached, 3.1 million subscribers to Altice’s Optimum cable service in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania could face a Disney network programming blackout.

The Yom Kippur religious holiday begins on Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening.

Both sides are under pressure from cord-cutting, or dropping of pay television, as audiences flock to cheaper streaming services that emerged in the past decade.

ESPN, Disney’s most important network, has been losing subscribers, and its ratings have fallen. That has cut into revenue from cable operators, which pay a monthly fee for each subscriber.

Disney is looking to increase its per-subscriber fees to help offset revenue declines, while Altice USA says the programming is too expensive.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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