On December 30, actor Omari Hardwick who plays the role of Ghost on the hit series show Power, announced on Instagram that cable company Optimum was in the process of possibly removing the STARZ channel from their service provider. The actor and many other stars from Power (including executive producer of the show 50 Cent, Lala, and Joseph Sikora) asked fans for their support to help stop the cancellation of the platform. 50 expressed his disappointment on an Instagram post stating,
“I was trying to bring the show back early this year now this ?♂️ you have to call in to Optimum they are holding up your show. Power!”
On the evening of January 1, Hardwick updated fans that Optimum officially dropped STARZ, which means several STARZ originals such as Power, Survivor’s Remorse, Ash vs Evil Dead and American Gods will be taken off the air.
“We as a team within this industry of television…have become one of the more special ones to ever suit up. & yet in still….certain folk refuse to not only give us our due, they have stupidly chosen to not even allow us to perform anymore for you the millions of beast coast fans.”
5: I’m telling y’all…they dropped us. Ace Boom: No comment O: wtf? Kanan/Tommy/Ghost: Thas that dumb shit. -ironically i post this while walking to the locker room to wish my guys luck in the game. I think about the beautiful thing about my former world of sports vs. my present. The ball truly don’t lie. You either make the play or you don’t. You either perform at a high level or you wallow in mediocrity. You either become one of the great teams of all times while becoming a unique player or you are never spoken about. We as a team within this industry of television…have become one of the more special ones to ever suit up. & yet in still….certain folk refuse to not only give us our due, they have stupidly chosen to not even allow us to perform anymore for you the millions of beast coast fans. -Fans: Tell @Optimum to bring back POWER! Don’t miss the next season! Call 844-71-STARZ and tell them no! #KeepSTARZ
According to Deadline, the STARZ cancellation stems from an ongoing dispute with Altice USA, in which Altice claimed, “STARZ refused a short-term contract extension past the midnight ET deadline.” This would lead to Altice charging subscribers more than the cost of STARZ’ streaming service. Altice released an official statement.
“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. 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.”
STARZ then responded saying,
“Altice has shown an unwillingness to negotiate in good faith to the detriment of our shared customers, and they have removed STARZ from their platform. We remain available to discuss a fair and reasonable agreement that will serve the interests of our loyal subscribers…. Altice wanted a drastic reduction in price that was totally inconsistent with the market and flew in the face of the record popularity of our programming. Quite simply, STARZ wanted to negotiate a forward-looking agreement in the best interest of our two companies and our customers; Altice did not.”
Optimum serves nearly 5 million customers who live primarily in the tri-state area. Customers can visit keepstarz.com to find out how to take action and battle the removal of STARZ.