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Fox Warns of Blackout on Charter Cable Systems

Fox Networks Group is warning Charter Communications cable subscribers they might lose access to Fox programming because of a carriage dispute.

Charter acquired Time Warner Cable last year giving it 15 million subscribers. Since then it has been involved in disputes with networks including Fox News and Univision over whether Charter will pay networks based on Charter’s rate or the lower one Time Warner had been paying.

“Fox and Charter Spectrum have an agreement to carry the Fox networks that Charter has chosen to ignore,” a Fox spokesman said.

“We are disappointed that despite our best efforts over many months to resolve the situation without disruption, Charter’s 16 million subscribers may lose access to a wide variety of programming,” he said.

In a statement, Charter said: "Fox is trying to gouge our customers using the increasingly common tactic of threats and removal of programming. They are attempting to extort Charter for hundreds of millions of dollars. We will continue to work towards a fair agreement."

Networks involved in the dispute are Fox, FX, National Geographic and the regional sports networks that carry teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues and Kansas City Royals.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.