DirecTV Subscribers Face Fox Programming Blackout Friday
DirecTV subscribers are facing a possible blackout of certain Fox broadcast TV and other network channels, when a current carriage deal expires at midnight Friday, the companies revealed Sunday.
The Fox network began running a crawl message across some channels with the warning that at midnight Pacific Time on Dec. 2, viewers could lose access to certain Fox programming channels if a “fair agreement” is not reached with DirecTV.
The two companies said they continue to negotiate a new carriage deal as the deadline approaches.
“Fox remains committed to reaching a fair agreement with DirecTV for the continued distribution of our networks,” the company said in a statement Sunday. “Despite our best efforts for months, we regret that DirecTV continues to demand unprecedented special treatment that represents a wholesale change to our long-standing relationship and is out of step with marketplace terms.”
Fox said it felt compelled to send the warning as the deadline drew cloaser because affected viewers were in danger of losing certain NFL and the Big Ten College Football Championship coverage, in addition to FIFA World Cup on Fox and FS1, Fox local news and other channels.
In addition to FOX broadcast stations, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Deportes and Fox Soccer Plus are potentially impacted by the expiring agreement. Fox News and Fox Business Network are carried under a separate deal and are not threatened by the blackout.
The network is urging DirecTV customers to visit KeepFox.com for instructions on how to contact programming distributor to keep these channels active.
In response, DirecTV has issued a statement saying: “any interruption of Fox programming depends solely on Fox alone. DirecTV has no intention to remove any Fox content. The best way for everyone to “Keep Fox” is for Fox to keep making it available themselves. We’re working hard to reach an agreement to renew these Fox stations and national sports channels so customers can continue to enjoy them at a strong value. Based on our excellent track record with Fox, we’re confident we’ll come to terms ahead of any potential disruption. In fact, we’ve renewed nearly 200 local Fox stations much like these over the last few years.”
However, the statement continued: “As such we are compelled to alert viewers who are DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-Verse subscribers that they could lose access to their favorite Fox programming beginning at midnight, December 2, including the NFL on FOX, the Big Ten College Football Championship on Fox, the FIFA World Cup on Fox and FS1, Fox local news, and more. While FOX continues to seek an agreement benefiting all parties, our priority is ensuring viewers’ ability to access all Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment and local Fox station programming.”
The carriage fight follows similar recent disputes between Fox and the Altice cable network in October, and Dish Network’s carriage renewal breakdown with Disney that impacted that satellite company’s channels including ABC, ESPN and FX.
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By Greg Tarr
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