FNC, Massillon Repair Damage

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Fox News Channel and Massillon Cable TV in Ohio have settled their contract dispute, and the news network is back on the operator's lineup, officials said last week.

FNC restored its signal to Massillon last Thursday, after pulling it 20 days earlier, March 31.

In a joint statement, the two parties said, "Fox News and Massillon Cable are pleased to resume service of Fox News Channel to all of Massillon's subscribers, as there was significant demand for the Fox News Channel during its absence. Massillon Cable and Fox News regret any inconvenience caused to subscribers that resulted from this dispute."

As part of the settlement, for the next 30 days, FNC will be carried on both channels 56 and 78 at Massillon Cable's two systems. Starting May 20, the network will just be on Massillon's expanded-basic tier, on channel 78.

FNC deauthorized its signal because it alleged that Massillon Cable, which reaches 42,000 subscribers, had failed to meet its benchmarks to roll out the news network despite being paid $10 per subscriber in launch fees.

Although Massillon Cable had collected roughly $350,000 in upfront launch fees, FNC alleged that the operator had failed to roll out the service to 90 percent of its subscribers, as required by contract.

Massillon Cable had FNC on a tier of 25 channels that costs subscribers $5.45 per month. Under the settlement, FNC will be moved off that tier and onto expanded basic.

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