Fox/Liberty, Century Reach Deals5/03/1998 8:00 PM Eastern
Los Angeles -- After months of bickering over licensing
fees, Fox/Liberty Networks and Century Communications Corp. last week reached distribution
deals for several Fox/Liberty services, including Fox Sports West II.
The deals include carriage agreements for FX, Fox Sports
World and Fox Sports Americas, as well as several regional sports networks, said Jim
Martin, executive vice president and head of business operations for Fox/Liberty.
Combined, the Fox/Liberty networks will reach about 1.1 million subscribers.
Bern Gallagher, president and CEO for Century
Communications Corp., said in a prepared statement that the deal "will enable us to
deliver a wide range of high-quality programming to our customers."
One of the more important launches for Fox Sports is
Century's commitment to roll out Fox Sports West II. The MSO will debut the service
in front of 550,000 subscribers in the Los Angeles DMA over a three-to-four-year period,
said sources close to the situation.
Century had been one of the biggest holdouts for the
service, which launched last year amid controversy. Fox also angered operators by moving
Los Angeles Clippers basketball and Anaheim Mighty Ducks hockey games from Fox Sports West
to Fox Sports West II to boost the new network's value, yet charging the same
licensing fee for FSW II as for the parent service.
"We've been talking to Century off and on for a
while, so we're thrilled to be able to expand the reach of our networks," Martin
Other regional networks expanding carriage on Century
systems include Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports
Rocky Mountain, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Pittsburgh and Fox Sports Northwest.