Suddenlink Communications is still in negotiations with News Corp.’s Fox television stations in six markets, working hard to avoid a blackout of that programming and more as a Jan. 2 deadline draws near.
Fox stations in Los Angeles (KTTV); Phoenix (KSAZ); Memphis (WHBQ); Houston (KRIV); Dallas (KDFW) and Austin (KTBC); My Network TV stations in Houston (KTXH); Dallas (KDFI); and Phoenix (KUTP); as well as cable networks FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes, Fox College Sports and several regional sports networks are set to go dark to Suddenlink customers unless a deal is reached by the 5 p.m. Jan. 2 deadline. Not part of the negotiations is Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, which are under a separate carriage agreement with the MSO.
While the two sides appear to be still talking, at issue is pricing. Suddenlink has said that Fox is demanding as much as a 25% increase in pricing for the channels.
“We’re willing to pay a fair price for these channels, but a nearly 25% increase — which is what News Corp/Fox is currently demanding — is excessive by any measure,” Suddenlink said in a statement. “We’ve made progress in our negotiations and, if more time is needed, we’ll ask for an extension beyond Jan. 2. If News Corp. lets us, Suddenlink will gladly keep these channels under the current agreement until a new agreement is reached.”
Fox has said on its various station web sites that it is hopeful a deal can be reached.
“We have been focused on completing a renewal agreement with Suddenlink for some time now and have submitted several proposals to Suddenlink in an effort to make sure you continue to receive all of our networks that you currently have on your TV line up,” Fox said on its www.keepmynets.com web site set up to provide information on the dispute. “Unfortunately, Suddenlink has not offered a resolution that is consistent with the marketplace and in line with other TV provider agreements.”
Suddenlink has also established a web site for its customers to obtain more information – www.suddenlinkonyourside.com.