Chicago -- Officials from Charter Communications, FX and
Fox met at the National Show here last week to try to resolve their dispute, which
includes the issue of a contract renewal for FX.
FX's deal with Charter expired June 1, and the network
has submitted a new proposal to the MSO.
"The good news is that we're in discussions with
Fox," Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont said. "They gave us a proposal, and we
are evaluating that."
Charter dropped FX in some Southeastern systems, and it
threatened to dump the network in the Los Angeles suburbs.
Tied into that impasse, Fox/Liberty Networks pulled its
signals for Fox Sports Net West 1 and Fox Sports Net West 2 on Charter's suburban Los
Angeles systems, with 90,000 subscribers.
Last week, Lindsay Gardner, executive vice president of
affiliate sales and distribution for FX, and Fox Television chairman Chase Carey took part
in the talks with Charter.
"They did have a good meeting," FX spokeswoman
Ellen Cooper said.
Five years ago, Fox used retransmission consent for its
owned TV stations and affiliates in exchange for getting carriage for FX from cable
But earlier this year, Fox said it was reclaiming control
of retransmission consent, and FX couldn't use it as a bargaining chit.
Fox TV-station affiliates wanted to retain control of their
own retransmission-consent agreements. They won that right last week: Fox met with them
here and agreed to let them cut their own deals.
At the National Show, AT&T Broadband & Internet
Services was hammering out a digital retransmission-consent deal with the Fox-owned TV
AT&T Broadband president Leo J. Hindery Jr. hoped to
close the deal at the show, sources said, and an announcement may be made this week.
Just before the show, AT&T Broadband cut a deal with
NBC that encompasses carriage of the broadcaster's digital spectrum, as well as
retransmission consent for 13 NBC-owned TV stations.