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Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

DISH Network, DIRECTV ready should Time Warner-FOX dispute drag on

By Andrea Reiher

December 30, 2009 11:16 AM

While representatives for both DISH Network and DIRECTV tell Zap2it that it is too early to tell if the threat of losing all FOX-owned and -operated stations come Jan. 1 has caused a sudden influx of new subscribers to their services, that doesn't mean they aren't prepared.

DISH began running television ads on Monday (Dec. 28) targeting customers in affected markets looking, supplementing with door hangings and print ads.

Part of DISH's plan is to provide next-day installation for subscribers wishing to switch.

"The next-day installations will vary per market while capacity allows," a spokesman tells Zap2it. "We're ramping up our installers in designated markets and urging people to call early to schedule their install so that we can accommodate everyone leaving no one with interrupted service."

Meanwhile, DIRECTV says that "customers can always upgrade to DIRECTV, but as of right now we are not actively marketing the dispute as we don't want to be used in the negotiation, and it's too early to tell how this will all shake out."

Time Warner did not respond to requests for comment.

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Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

FOX, Time Warner continue talks into new year

By Rick Porter

December 31, 2009 11:35 PM

UPDATE 2: The New York Times and Deadline Hollywood report that talks were continuing Friday morning, though there's still no deal. The FOX affiliate in Los Angeles was still on the air at 12:30 p.m PT.

UPDATE: As of 8:15 a.m. PT Friday, FOX stations were still on the air. Check back for more updates.

Time Warner Cable didn't pull the plug on FOX at midnight Thursday, but that doesn't mean everything's fine.

The two sides agreed to keep talking past midnight ET Thursday, after FOX's contract with Time Warner Cable expired, according to The New York Times. The continued talks meant that viewers in the eastern half of the country served by FOX-owned stations -- including those in New York, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth -- still were able to see those stations as the calendar turned to 2010.

News Corp., which owns FOX and several of the network's biggest local affiliates, wants higher subscriber fees from Time Warner for the right to transmit its signal on cable -- about a dollar per subscriber. Time Warner Cable has countered with an offer of about 30 cents per subscriber, and both sides have engaged in heated PR campaigns blaming the other for the impasse.

The extension of talks doesn't necessarily mean that a deal is imminent, but a source tells the Times that the extra time does indicate that talks have at least been somewhat productive.

Stay tuned.

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Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

FOX, Time Warner make a deal

By Rick Porter

January 1, 2010 5:04 PM

Rest easy, TV watchers of America. Your BCS bowl games and "American Idol" are safe.

FOX and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement on Friday (Jan. 1) that will keep FOX programming in markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas on Time Warner Cable systems. The deal covers about 13 million homes and comes after a long negotiation session Thursday night and Friday.

The two sides were at odds over the fees per subscriber the network charges cable systems. FOX wanted about $1 per subscriber -- which is in the range of cable networks like TNT -- while Time Warner was offering in the neighborhood of 30 cents per subscriber. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but presumably the two met somewhere in the middle.

The deal also covers News Corp.-owned cable networks like FX, Speed and Fuel and Fox's regional sports channels. It also covers roughly 2.4 million subscribers to Bright House Networks.

"We're pleased that, after months of negotiations, we were able to reach a fair agreement with Time Warner Cable -- one that recognizes the value of our programming," News Cop. president and COO Chase Carey says in a press release. Time Warner Cable president and CEO Glenn Britt adds that his company is "happy to have reached a reasonable deal with no disruption in programming."

Both sides had engaged in a PR war in the days leading up to the deal -- their previous agreement expired at midnight Thursday -- and traded charges that each would be responsible for potentially killing FOX programming in a sizable portion of the country. In the most immediate danger was Friday night's telecast of college football's Sugar Bowl, but the new season of "American Idol," which starts Jan. 12, could have been threatened had the impasse dragged on.

Customers in the potentially affected markets had no disruption in service Friday.

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