SBD/October 21, 2011/Media

DirecTV Threatens To Drop Fox Channels, Including RSNs, Amid Carriage Dispute

DirecTV has threatened to drop 26 Fox cable channels by Nov. 1 unless the two sides move closer in their carriage negotiations. Contracts with the channels -- including all the RSNs, FX, Speed and Fox Soccer -- expired at the end of September. Fox broadcast channel is not affected; its carriage deal with DirecTV ends Dec. 31. Fox News also is unaffected; its carriage deal with DirecTV ends Jan. 31. DirecTV says Fox is seeking a 40% increase in its carriage fees, a stance it calls "simply unfair and unwarranted.” It said in a statement, “We hope to resolve this situation before any action is taken, but we will do what's necessary to protect our customers from excessive and unwarranted fee increases. We already provide News Corp nearly a billion dollars a year for their channels, and we have no problem continuing to compensate them fairly." Fox says it offered to sign an extension, which DirecTV refused. Fox said DirecTV sent a proposal Tuesday afternoon. The net said in a statement, "They have given us no chance to respond before taking an unnecessarily aggressive posture and going public. It is disappointing that they have chosen bad faith tactics over meaningful negotiation." The affected networks include FX, Speed, Fox Soccer, Fuel, Fox Deportes, National Geographic, Fox Movie Channel and 19 RSNs.
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