Fox, Time Warner agree to extension

Jan. 1, 2010 at 1:23 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- News Corp. and Time Warner Inc. agreed late Thursday to extend contract talks, averting disruption of Fox U.S. TV programming on Time Warner Cable.

The three-hour extension came as the existing contract expired on the U.S. East Coast and was set to expire as the old contract ran out on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Times reported. Representatives for both companies said talks were being held at Fox's Century City, Calif., lot, the newspaper said.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski Thursday urged the companies "to agree to a temporary extension of carriage if they do not come to terms on a new carriage agreement today."

News Corp. President Chase Carey issued a memo Wednesday saying "at this time, it looks like we will not reach an agreement and our channels may very well go off the air."

The major obstacle is money, with Time Warner offering to pay Fox about 30 cents per subscriber and Fox asking for about $1, the Times said.

Fox has suggested it would remove its programming from Time Warner Cable without a new contract. Such a move could result in 1 million Time Warner subscribers in Southern California and 4 million in other U.S. cities -- including in New York and Dallas -- getting cut off from cable signals for NFL and college football bowl games this weekend, the Times said.

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