Cable Multi System Operator Altice USA this week became the next traditional pay-TV provider to leverage its broadband-only service using the offer of a free OTT media streaming device to hold onto defecting cord cutters.

Altice USA, which several years ago acquired the former Cablevision cable territories, this week unveiled a 4K-capable Android TV-based step-top box that it is providing for free to subscribers to its 1 Gbps broadband-only service, or for $5 per month to subscribers of lower service speeds.

According to trade publication Multichannel News, the box is branded with the company’s “Optimum Stream” or “Suddenlink Stream” trademarks, depending on the Altice USA region where the service is offered.

The box comes with popular pre-installed apps for “easy setup”: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Discovery+.

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The device comes with the pre-installed “Stream” app that offers more than 50 live-stream channels including — News 12, i24NEWS and Cheddar News, children’s entertainment from Kabillion, lifestyle entertainment from Bon Appetit, Wired, Reelz, and gaming from Stadium.

The offering helps Altice hold on to some of its lost ad-revenue channels it serves over its platform, in addition to subscription revenue from broadband service.

Multichannel News reported that Altice USA listed just over 2.9 million traditional pay TV customers remaining at the end of the first quarter of this year.

The Altice streaming box offer follows the model established by other cable operators, including giant Comcast, which began offering its “Xfinity Flex” device to broadband-only subs in 2019.

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By Greg Tarr

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