The dispute between MSO Charter Communications and Fox Sports Midwest is going down to the wire.
Charter faced a midnight Friday deadline to agree to a higher license fee or take the network off its 250,000 subscriber suburban St. Louis operation. Charter is balking at Fox Sports' demand for a rate hike that chairman Jerry Kent said would double the MSO's current license fee.
Kent was off Fri day afternoon to tape a commercial with an explanation to subscribers in case the channel goes dark.
Fox Sports put out a statement aiming the blame at Kent: "If Charter, indeed, opts to discontinue our relationship, we respect their prerogative."
Kent said the decision whether the network stays on or not didn't rest with him. "Rest assured that Charter will not take it off. If people wake up Saturday morning and Fox Sports isn't there, it's not because Charter did it," Kent said.
- John Higgins
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