Fox News is latest programmer to sue Charter for leveraging TWC contracts

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) has been sued by 21st Century Fox for allegedly abandoning its 2014 program licensing deal with Fox News and Fox Business Network and paying rates based on older agreement with Time Warner Cable, the MSO Charter recently acquired.

The breach-of-contract suit follows a similar complaint filed against Charter filed by Univision earlier this month.

"We have a contract with Fox News and expect them to honor it," Charter spokesman Justin Venech said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to discover the suit and report on it.

Charter is under pressure from analysts to produce $800 million in cost savings in the first year after purchasing TWC and Bright House Networks. Both deals closed in May.

One key identified cost-savings areas is program licensing, a place on the balance sheet that TWC — and its larger pay-TV subscriber footprint — had an advantage in terms of negotiating program licensing deals.

According to Univision's claim, Charter says TWC is now negotiating all of its program licensing contracts. 

"But everyone knows that is simply not true: the longstanding CEO and the senior executive team of Charter, as well as its pre- existing board of directors, now in fact manage and control all such cable systems, and virtually the entire TWC leadership team has departed," the suit said. 

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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