NBCU, Charter Extend Talks

NBC Universal said it has extended negotiations with Charter Communications as the deadline drew closer for its existing carriage deals to expire.   

“Negotiations with Charter Spectrum for the NBC Universal portfolio of networks have been extended,” NBCU said in a statement Saturday. “We will continue to negotiate in good faith so that Charter Spectrum customers can continue to receive NBCUniversal’s valuable networks and we hope to be able to reach a deal.”

NBCU began warning Charter customers Dec. 29 that its carriage deals for its broadcast stations and cable channels like Bravo, USA Network and Syfy, were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31. In a statement Thursday, NBCU had said Charter was “unyielding” in its demands for terms similar to larger operators.

Charter has about 17 million video customers across the country. NBCU did not say how long the talks have been extended, but it is expected to at least be long enough for viewers to see NBC’s Sunday Night Football contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions (the winner takes the NFC North crown). Sunday also is the date for the NHL Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. On Monday, the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks meet in the NHL Winter Classic, while for non-sports fans there is the Tournament of Roses Parade.