Fox News, DirecTV Reach Deal

New York -- Fox News Channel now has a pair of renewal pacts in its pocket.

The cable news leader, which announced a deal with Cablevision Systems Oct. 16, reached an agreement with DirecTV.

“We’re not prepared to talk about the Cablevision deal other than we are happy that it ended happily,” News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin told reporters after the company’s annual meeting here. “We’ve had a good relationship with them for years, and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”

Chernin added that Fox News already renewed with DirecTV and the next deal up is with the National Cable Television Cooperative. However, he would not reveal pricing on any of its deals.

“We’re looking to continue a positive relationship with our partners and maximize the value we think we’ve earned on Fox News with 10 years of great ratings success and tremendous growth,” Chernin said.

Sources familiar with the Cablevision-Fox News deal indicated that the New York-centric cable operator will pay the programmer “north of 75 cents” on average per subscriber, per month. That total would represent a trebling of the 25- to 27-cent license fee Fox News currently receives from distributors.

NCTC senior vice president of programming Frank Hughes said the co-op is “working on an agreement” with Fox News, but he declined to characterize the tenor of those conversations or whether the contract has expired.

The NCTC represents independent cable operators with systems reaching some 14 million subscribers nationwide in programming-contract negotiations.