Another Day, Another Extension in Fox, Charter Dispute

It what is becoming the cable industry’s version of Waiting for Godot, Fox Networks Group has apparently granted yet another extension in its ongoing carriage battle with Charter Communications.

Fox Networks Group began warning Charter customers on April 7 that they could lose access to FX Networks, Fox Sports, National Geographic Channels and several regional sports networks. That deadline has since moved to April 10, 11, 12 and last night became April 13.

The dispute is over money and stems from Charter’s May purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

According to people familiar with the matter, Fox Networks still has an ongoing carriage deal with legacy Charter, but its Time Warner Cable deal expired on March 31. Charter wants to continue paying Fox under the lower Time Warner Cable rate for all its systems, including the legacy Charter systems, while Fox wants all of Charter's 17 million customers to fall under the existing, pricier Charter legacy deal. It is similar to a dispute Fox News Channel has with Charter—it filed a lawsuit last year to try to work it out—that also has yet to be resolved. It should be noted that the Fox Networks Group channels were not part of the Fox News Channel suit and have not taken Charter to court over their impasse with the distributor.

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