Altice to drop Optimum broadband brand
Photo: Alexander Soule / Hearst Connecticut Media Image 1of/1
Image 1 of 1 Optimum trucks at a Cablevision dispatch center in Stamford, Conn., with Cablevision acquired in June 2016 by Altice. Optimum trucks at a Cablevision dispatch center in Stamford, Conn., with Cablevision acquired in June 2016 by Altice.
Photo: Alexander Soule / Hearst Connecticut Media
Altice to drop Optimum broadband brand
1 / 1 Back to Gallery Nearing the one-year anniversary of its acquisition of Cablevision, Altice is jettisoning the Optimum brand it inherited in the £17.7 billion deal in favor of adding to its new U.S. territories the corporate brand its founder built in Europe.
Altice expects to complete the conversion by the summer of 2018. In addition to Cablevision and Optimum, the company acquired SuddenLink last year for £9 billion, giving it cable territories in Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and other states. Altice indicated the change is intended to emphasize a single brand that captures the international and digital nature of its business.
In addition to Optimum and Suddenlink, Altice owns Lightpath which provides telecommunications services for businesses. Altice plans to retain the News 12 identity of its cable news service, with the Connecticut anchor studio long in Norwalk before March when Altice moved it to New Jersey. The Optimum monicker was created under Cablevision’s former owner Charles Dolan, whose own name lives on in southwestern Connecticut at the entrance to the Charles F.
Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University. Altice has its main office in The Netherlands and is controlled by Patrick Drahi, a resident of Switzerland who launched the company in 1993 in France financed partially with the proceeds of a student loan. In an Altice transcription of an address Tuesday to employees, Drahi said his early goal was “to follow the American cable cowboys” in his words, a journey that brought him to the United States via Cablevision and Suddenlink.
In the United States and globally, carriers face the emerging threat of “over the top” content providers offering an alternative to standard cable service — not to mention Internet-era giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon homing in on the video market, or “the GAFAs” as referenced Tuesday by Drahi. “Although we have joined the race, we have not yet won it,” Drahi said. “Leaders in mobility, fiber, networks, content, advertising — all want to eat our lunch while the GAFAs are busy redefining our life. But our goal is more complex than merely competing for convergence — our one goal is to improve our customers’ lives.”
Since acquiring the brand last year, Altice has continued to promote Optimum heavily through a series of offbeat TV commercials, making its colorful vans the centerpiece of whimsical animations at the conclusion along with the Optimum “let’s connect more” tagline. Optimum’s vehicle fleet is only the latest in southwestern Connecticut in store for a makeover, with Norwalk-based Frontier Communications having painted over the AT&T logo on its own fleet after acquiring the giant’s Connecticut operations in the fall of 2014; and Eversource Energy eradicating its former Connecticut Light & Power and Northeast Utilities brands. After acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last year to become the second largest cable carrier in the nation, Stamford-based Charter Communications has been working to unify its own identity under the Spectrum brand, with Charter providing service in portions of the Danbury and Bridgeport areas.
- ^ Lightpath (www.thehour.com)
- ^ moved (www.thehour.com)
- ^ Charles Dolan (www.thehour.com)
- ^ Charles F.
Dolan School of Business(www.thehour.com)
- ^ Fairfield University (www.thehour.com)
- ^ Patrick Drahi (www.thehour.com)
- ^ Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (www.thehour.com)
- ^ www.twitter.com/casoulman (www.twitter.com)