Last week, we told you about the Fox-Charter dispute and how the two sides were throwing barbs at each other. Well, after its original deadline last Friday, both Fox and Charter agreed to extend the so-called “drop dead” date before Fox’s signals to several networks are pulled from the cable system. But Fox says today is the very last day that it can extend the deadline and just like last week, it’s threatening a blackout of its signals.
The two sides have been negotiating for the last eight months to no avail.
In a site that’s directed at Charter Spectrum subscribers, keepmynets.com, Fox notes that in addition to FX and National Geographic, the regional Fox Sports Net channels would go dark. And for subscribers in markets like Columbus, Minneapolis, St. Louis and in Southern California, they would lose access to the Fox Sports Nets which are about to air NHL Playoff action.
The one bright side to this is that NBC’s national telecasts in those markets won’t be blacked out so fans will be able to watch either CNBC, NBCSN or USA Network, but for those who are accustomed to seeing their local broadcasts, they’re going to be out of luck,
And there’s MLB and NBA action on the Fox Sports Nets that are threatened by this action as well.
Fox produced this ominous video complete with dramatic voiceover that sounds the warning bell for the blackout:
For its part, Charter has this terse statement on the dispute:
“Fox is trying to gouge our customers using the increasingly common tactic of threats and removal of programming. They are attempting to extort Charter for hundreds of millions of dollars. We will continue to work towards a fair agreement.”
It’s left viewers in the middle and again they’re holding the bag for two companies that can’t come together on money. Both sides are nickel-and-diming each other while customers have to see slides or black screens in place of games. It’s frustrating, but these disputes keep happening. Hopefully the two sides will end this dispute before it becomes an extended blackout.