We discussed this before in regards to Outlander, and we may end up doing it again before the series comes to a close — carriage disputes. They happen often between networks and service providers, often because there is a disparity between what a network wants and what a cable provider is willing to offer. The former recognizes the value of their programming, and the latter doesn’t want to be put into a situation where they have to sell a bump in cost to their consumers. Things usually get rather messy but, in the end, deals often then get done.
For some new Outlander video discussion, check out our take on the top five episodes below! Once you do that, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and then also view our show playlist. We’re doing new, weekly discussions of Outlander every week leading up to the premiere.
This week, though, Starz is working to inform viewers in advance that on December, Comcast Xfinity subscribers could end up losing all of their various networks as they reach the end of their already-established contract. Per Entertainment Weekly, here is what the network had to say in a message to subscribers:
“Starz has been working diligently to reach a fair market distribution agreement with Comcast Xfinity in order to continue providing our shared customers with access to our acclaimed line-up of premium television content. However, months before our contract deadline and in spite of our best efforts to engage in meaningful discussions, Comcast has publicly stated their intention to drop our networks from all packages and bundles, ignoring industry precedent and demonstrating a total disregard for its customers, communities, suppliers and other stakeholders. In response, we must now alert our millions of Comcast subscribers that they will soon lose all 17 STARZ channels, including STARZ and STARZ Encore along with our on-demand and online services without receiving any refund from Comcast for the loss of an irreplaceable premium programming lineup, including the sixth season of the hit series ‘Power,’ which delivered the #1 series premiere in premium cable for the summer in total viewers and continues to rank as the top-rated premium series among African American audiences, upcoming seasons of fan-favorite series like Outlander, Vida and American Gods, along with our deep catalogue of over 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and exclusive blockbuster films.”
Is there a chance that a new deal doesn’t happen? It’s possible — there was a long dispute with Starz and Altice not that long ago. A part of the reason why these problems are amplified now is due to the various ways in which consumers get Starz. Because the network can be purchased separately of a cable subscription, there’s less of a direct reason for all consumers to get it via their cable package. That complicates demand.
Yet, we’re sympathetic to consumers caught in the middle of disputes — not everyone lives in places where high-speed internet is available, so when there’s a blackout, it hurts these people the most with no viable streaming option.
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We’ll have more news on this as we get closer to the deadline; for now, though, feel free to share your thoughts below. (Photo: Starz.)