After an initial bout of preblackout rhetoric earlier this month, Fox Networks Group and Charter Communications appear to be close to reaching a new carriage deal without programming interruptions.
Speaking at an advertiser event in New York on Wednesday, which was attended by Multichannel News, Fox Networks President and COO Randy Freer said, “We’re working out the issues.”
Fox Networks, which includes National Geographic Channel, FX, Fox Sports 1 & 2 and Fox regional sports networks, targeted ads in early April to Charter subscribers warning them that the channels would be “gone” if the MSO didn’t get busy at the bargaining table.
Since then, rhetoric has been quiet and negotiations have seemingly hummed along. Not that what they have to work out is all that easy.
Freer conceded that a key element complicating a new deal is the fact that sibling 21st Century Fox unit Fox News is suing Charter over the way the MSO leveraged its acquired TWC contract with the programmer, instead of paying licensing fees off its inferior legacy contract with Fox News.
“We go to market as one company,” Freer reportedly said.