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DirecTV and News Corp. Avert Channel Blackout

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Rickaren, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    October 31, 2011

    DirecTV and News Corp. Avert Channel Blackout

    Representatives for DirecTV and News Corporation said Monday evening that they had averted a looming blackout of regional sports networks, FX and other Fox-owned cable channels.

    After warring in public for a week and a half, the two companies said they had come to a new contract agreement.
    “We both know the past ten days have been challenging, but we’re pleased that both sides could eventually come together to ensure our viewers continue to enjoy Fox programming,” the companies said in a joint statement.
    Both sides had been warning that many Fox-owned channels would be blacked out on DirecTV’s system beginning on Nov. 1 if a new contract agreement was not accepted. Such spats are usually resolved close to the self-imposed deadlines, but occasionally they do result in blackouts; Fox network programming was removed from Cablevision’s systems for two weeks last October.


    In this case, the companies resolved their differences about nine hours before the blackout would have taken effect.
    The fee fight would have affected far more people than past fights that pitted News Corporation against Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. DirecTV is the second-biggest pay television operator in the United States, behind Comcast, with more than 19 million subscribers.


    News Corporation had proposed higher rates for a bundle of channels that, in addition to FX and 19 regional sports networks, also included Speed, Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes, Fuel, Fox Movie Channel, and the National Geographic Channel.
    DirecTV customers were concerned about losing access to shows like “Sons of Anarchy” and “American Horror Story” that are broadcast on FX and the local pro and college football games that are televised by the regional sports networks.
    DirecTV publicly resisted the higher rates proposed by News Corporation. Privately, DirecTV also contested the very notion of bundling the channels together, a common practice in the industry.


    The companies did not comment Monday evening on the terms of the new deal.


    Notably, the deal includes DirecTV’s distribution for the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and Fox-owned television stations. Those channels and stations were not immediately vulnerable to a blackout on Nov. 1, but Fox had warned that they could be affected by a feud in the near future.

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