Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fox-Time Warner Cable feud nears 11th hour

[Fox TV is rallying support via its Keep Fox On site]

Barring a last-minute settlement tonight in a retransmission fee squabble, News Corp. says millions of Time Warner Cable customers in Los Angeles and other cities will lose Fox Broadcasting stations at midnight tonight.

"The companies are fighting over how much the cable operator should pay Fox stations for the right to retransmit their shows, sporting events and local newscasts,'' The New York Times says. "Fox is demanding about a dollar for each cable subscriber each month, which analysts say could set a precedent for broadcasters that want more money from cable and satellite operators."

The contracts expire today at midnight. Fox could then take its signal off Time Warner Cable systems in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities. Negotiations between programmers and distributors are often prolonged and painful, the NYT says, "but they rarely occur in public the way the feud between Fox and Time Warner Cable has."

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