“You may lose your favorite shows and sports today, Wednesday, April 12,” the website keepmynets.com says, in all caps.
Fox Networks has threatened to pull its channels from Charter, the nation's No. 2 cable operator, because they have not yet reached an agreement on a new program licensing deal, also referred to as a "carriage deal" or a right to transmit Charter’s broadcast signal.
Fox, however, has yet to take the nuclear option by actually pulling its channels, pushing its threats out one day at a time. The deadline was originally April 8, which was moved to April 11, which was then moved to Wednesday, April 12, Multichannel News reported.
“Fox and Charter Spectrum have an agreement to carry the Fox networks that Charter has chosen to ignore,” Fox said in a statement. “We are disappointed that despite our best efforts over many months to resolve the situation without disruption, Charter’s 16 million subscribers may lose access to a wide variety of programming, including telecasts of the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds and many other MLB, NBA and NHL teams on Fox Regional Sports Networks, FX’s hit dramas 'The Americans' and 'Feud,' and 'National Geographic,'” Fox added.
Charter responded with its own statement: “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.”
Fox Networks is the division of 21st Century Fox that controls the "Fox Sports Net" line of regional sports networks, FX and National Geographic Channel.
Notably, the contract that expired is the one Fox Networks had with Time Warner Cable. When Charter bought Time Warner last year, it ditched its own less favorable contract with Fox Networks and started basing its rates off the Time Warner card. Other programmers—including sibling Fox News—have sued Charter for this.
By not actually pulling its channels from Charter, Fox Networks’ threats may be less than half full, if not empty.
Last year, 21st Century Fox sued Charter for allegedly abandoning its 2014 program licensing deal with Fox News and Fox Business Network, instead paying rates based on an older agreement with Time Warner Cable, the MSO that Charter had recently acquired. Then in January, Charter Communications countersued 21st Century Fox, stating that the programmer violated most favored nation (MFN) contract clauses in regard to licensing Fox News.