News Corp. And DirecTV Reach Deal Hours Before Channels Set To Go Dark
Fox and DirecTV “reached a new carriage agreement hours before Monday's midnight deadline that kept a slew of cable channels from being pulled off the air,” according to Andrew Wallenstein of DAILY VARIETY. The agreement extended beyond cable nets like FX and Speed "to other News Corp.-owned TV properties that don't technically fall under the Fox Networks umbrella including Fox Broadcasting Co. and the O&O stations that carry the nets' programming.” In addition, News Corp. “came to terms on other cable channels including Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.” Financial terms were not made public, though sources indicated that Fox “exacted a significant increase for the channels.” However, it is not expected “to be as high as the 40% increase DirecTV claimed Fox was seeking.” The companies announced the resolution at about 3:15pm PT, less than “nine hours before the channels' were set to go dark if a deal couldn't be hammered out.” The channels that would have been affected also included Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes, and 19 RSNs (VARIETY.com, 10/31). In N.Y., Brian Stelter noted the deal notably includes DirecTV’s “distribution for the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and Fox-owned television stations.” News Corp. had “proposed higher rates" for the bundle channels (NYTIMES.com, 10/31). SNL Kagan reports that FX “currently gets about 40 cents per subscriber, per month,” while FS West “gets almost $2.70 per subscriber, per month” (LATIMES.com, 10/31).
TAKING TO TWITTER: CABLEFAX DAILY notes as negotiations were underway yesterday, DirecTV “furiously worked Twitter, pointing disgruntled subs to its OurPromisetoYou.com site as well as to CSRs who explained DTV’s take, which is chiefly higher prices, in the programming dispute.” With the NBA officially canceling all games through November, DirecTV “already had a short-term reprieve from hoops fans on the RSN-front,” but the same “couldn’t have been said for hockey” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 11/1).