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Fox, DirecTV sign retrans accord

Tue, 11/01/2011 - 2:15pm
Brian Santo

On the day their extended retransmission contract ran out, Fox Networks and DirecTV reached an agreement for the latter to continue carrying all of the former's cable network channels.

The retrans negotiations between the two got bitter, with Fox taking out newspaper ads aimed at inducing DirecTV subscribers to either complain to DirecTV or churn to another provider, all to create pressure on DirecTV to capitulate to whatever demands Fox was making. DirecTV complained to the FCC that those Fox ads were deceptive.

The two companies issued the following joint statement: "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."

Smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers have been complaining for many years that programmers have been abusing their market positions to extract ever-greater retransmission fees, but in the past few years, programmers have gone after bigger Tier I game, with several high-profile instances of programmers blacking out important programming from various service providers.

In the DirecTV-Fox negotiations just concluded, the agreement the two signed will allow DirecTV to continue including FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Fox's regional sports networks, Fox Broadcasting (Fox), the Fox local stations, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

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