Last-minute deal saves FX, NatGeo and more for DirecTV subscribers

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Fox said they've reached a carriage agreement that will keep the network's line up of channels on the satellite TV provider.

The brouhaha, which the two made very public with website and TV ads since it began Sept. 30 when an existing deal expired, would have ended with Fox pulling its channels had a deal not been reached yesterday.

Neither Fox nor DirecTV would comment on the specifics of the new, multiyear agreement.

The pact includes a wide array of channels including FX, National Geographic Channel, SPEED, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, Fox's regional sports networks and Fox Business Network.

The announcement also includes a new agreement for Fox Broadcasting and the Fox local stations, which also were coming up for negotiation in December and January, meaning DirecTV subs will still get their NFL games and shows like Glee and House. The deal also includes the Fox News Channel, although that deal wasn't slated to expire until 2012.

A DirecTV exec last week said Fox Network's desire to combine all of the carriage agreements into a single package made negotiations more difficult.

In a joint statement, the two sides acknowledged the bargaining had been difficult.

"We both know the past ten days have been challenging, but we're pleased that both sides could eventually come together to ensure our viewers continue to enjoy Fox programming," the companies said in a joint statement.

Reports said Fox was demanding a 40 percent rate increase from DirecTV, which Fox denied.

The bickering between the two sides was very public. In some ads, Fox suggested consumers drop DirecTV for other pay-TV services, and Sons of Anarchy executive producer Kurt Sutter blasted DirecTV execs on Twitter.

The satelite TV operator, meanwhile, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission accusing Fox of a misleading ad campaign.

For more:
- see this LA Times article
- see this Reuters article
- see this MCN article

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