Fox, NCTC Reach Carriage Deal

The National Cable Television Cooperative said it has reached a carriage deal with Fox Corp., signing an agreement for a handful of cable networks hours after the official midnight deadline passed.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the NCTC members -- numbering more than 700 small cable operators representing about 3 million customers -- managed to eke out an agreement for Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, sports channels FS1 and FS2, Fox Deportes and Fox Soccer Plus.

The NCTC had warned that a deal might not be reached before the deadline, citing Fox’s demand for a rate increase the organization said was more than 10 times the current rate of inflation. But it appears that the parties, facing the midnight witching hour, were able to work out a compromise.

As the New Year approached, sources close to the parties said they had a deal in principal, but that nothing had been officially signed. That kept the programming available until the documents became official. By Wednesday evening, on its website, Fox said it had reached a deal with the NCTC without a disruption of service, adding  “All of the NCTC’s members will continue to carry our portfolio of leading sports, entertainment and news programming for years to come.”

NCTC later confirmed that a deal had been reached.