Fox and Charter Communications, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, have agreed to a multi-year distribution arrangement.
The carriage deal covers Fox local stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1 and other networks. It includes VOD and TV Everywhere rights, enabling Charter customers to watch Fox programming through various authenticated apps.
The companies also agreed to team on various piracy mitigation measures.
In an unsettled climate for carriage, with blackouts and brinkmanship becoming more common, the resolution of a key deal is a boon for both companies. But Fox in particular has been in a key early phase as a newly configured company. Since shedding two-thirds of its asset base in a $71.3 billion deal with Disney, the refocused Fox has seen its shares decline more than 20% since they began trading in March. In addition to risking viewer revolt, the company also could ill afford doing without revenue from a major cable provider. Earlier this month, Fox and Dish Network resolved a carriage dispute that landed in the midst of the NFL season and the start of post-season baseball.
“We appreciate Charter’s professional and collaborative approach throughout this process, and we look forward to expanding on our partnership in the days ahead,” said Fox operations and distribution president Michael Biard.
“The agreement allows continued access to all of the Fox programming for our customers and Fox viewers, but it will also amplify our mutual efforts to address piracy and abusive password issues,” said Tom Montemagno, EVP of program acquisition for Charter. “We appreciate Fox’s desire to further collaborate as the video landscape continues to evolve.”
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