Fox, Cablevision start retrans talks quietly

It probably has nothing to do with Charter Communications (OTC BB: CCMM) no-lose monthly Broadcast TV Surcharge designed to recoup increased retransmission fees, but initial retransmission talks between Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) and Fox Broadcasting, whose contract expires in October, are quiet.

Things could change, of course. Cablevision's management has, in the past, shown some tendencies towards volatility and the MSO's fight with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) last spring not only dominated headlines, it cost viewers precious moments of the Academy Awards broadcast. On the other side of the table, Fox chief executive Rupert Murdoch thinks retransmission fees are the way for broadcasters to make more money. It's unlikely with a deadline fuse lit on this kind of dynamite that things will remain quiet.

The two sides are expected to discuss fees for retransmitting Fox owned and operated (O&O for the in crowd) station WNYW as well as multiple Fox cable networks. Then again, Fox could right now be a little preoccupied with yet another retransmission deal with DISH Network (Nasdaq: DISH).

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