Altice USA selects NAGRA for content protection

Altice CEO Dexter Goei and founder Patrick Drahi
Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei (left) and Altice NV founder Patrick Drahi (right). Credit: Brian Stanton/Altice

Altice USA will deploy content protection technology from NAGRA on its acquired Cablevision and Suddenlink cable systems, the European vendor said.

NAGRA said Altice will use its “NAGRA Connect” conditional access system/digital rights management tools for both IP and QAM video distributed in standard def, high-def and 4K across the Suddenlink and Optimum footprints. 

Christopher Schouten, senior director of product marketing for NAGRA, told FierceCable in a phone interview Friday that the company provides content protection products to Dish Network and Cable One. But it has otherwise struggled to break through in what he calls a “bogged down and inflexible" U.S. cable market, which he said is traditionally rooted in technology products from Motorola (now owned by Arris) and Scientific Atlanta (now owned by Technicolor).

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Schouten said, however, that Swiss-based NAGRA has already worked extensively with Altice in European territories like France. He said the inclusion of NAGRA DRM on Altice CPE and head-ends doesn't necessarily mean Altice is eschewing Arris. 

Altice will also deploy NAGRA’s MediaLive platform, an all-screen business services management platform designed to help operators monetize and deliver TV services to a broad number of subscriber accounts, devices and users across multiple networks. It is available as either an on-premise or cloud-based solution.

“We are in a unique position to bring innovative products and services to Altice USA’s Optimum and Suddenlink customers by leveraging our global operational expertise, scale, resources, and key strategic partners like NAGRA,” said Hakim Boubazine, co-president and chief operating officer, Altice USA, in a statement. “We have been impressed by the flexibility NAGRA has shown in adapting to U.S.-specific requirements in a short amount of time, and this partnership will enable us to design integrated services to meet our customers’ expectations.”