Another major carriage dispute threatens to pull Fox’s cable networks from DirecTV systems on November 1. The affected networks include FX (including its hit Sons Of Anarchy and hot newcomer American Horror Story), National Geographic Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes, and the 19 Fox regional sports networks. Fox Networks’ previous carriage agreement with DirecTV expired on September 30. After extending the talks, no progress was made, leading to a standoff between the two sides that may lead to the blackout. Exactly a year ago, the same networks went dark on DirecTV’s rival satcaster Dish Network before the two sides finally reached a new agreement. Like in previous carriage fights, both sides released dueling statements and launched competing websites — KeepMyNets.com (Fox) and OurPromiseToYou.com (DirecTV). In its statement, DirecTV claims that Fox is seeking a 40% license-fee increase. Here are the two statements:
FOX NETWORKS: Despite Fox Networks’ offer of an extension during our ongoing negotiations, DirecTV has informed us and their customers that unless we agree to their demands, they “will suspend our networks on November 1.”
DirecTV sent us a proposal on Tuesday afternoon. They have given us no chance to respond before taking an unnecessarily aggressive posture and going public. It is disappointing that they have chosen bad faith tactics over meaningful negotiation.
We have proposed to keep the Fox Networks on DirecTV for the same price, and on the same terms as they are currently carried while we attempt to work out a fair agreement. Unfortunately, DirecTV has decided that unless they get their way, they are going to pull the plug on their customers November 1.
DIRECTV CEO MIKE WHITE: DirecTV’s agreement with News Corp./Fox for some of their national cable networks and regional Fox Sports networks has expired.
News Corp. has demanded that DirecTV customers pay nearly 40% more for the same channels they already receive. If a new deal is not reached, we will be forced to suspend the channels as early as Nov.1.