Fox News and Charter Communications told a New York court that they’ve resolved a three-month-old contract dispute over the rates the No. 2 cable operator pays for the channel.
At issue was whether Charter had to pay the rates it negotiated with Fox, or could switch to lower ones the network had with Time Warner Cable before Charter bought it last year.
Yesterday, the companies filed a “stipulation of discontinuance with prejudice” at the New York State Supreme Court. Fox and Charter declined comment on the agreement.
The network charged in its suit that Charter “is claiming that TWC was the party that survived the acquisition and that TWC’s contracts with Fox News Network survive as a result.”
That claim, it added, should “fail as a matter of plain language of the Charter Agreement; it is plainly contradicted by Charter’s public statements and by the reality of how it has operated its cable business following the acquisition.”
But Charter told the court it was logical for it to pay the lower rates TWC was able to negotiate, due to its size, now that Charter was even larger than TWC. Fox News, it said, sought to “extract from Defendants (and ultimately, their cable customers) tens of millions of dollars of subscription fees to which it is not entitled as a matter of contract, industry practice, or common sense.”
Charter was embroiled in a similar dispute with Fox Networks Group that covered FX Networks, National Geographic, Fox Sports and 19 regional sports networks.
That appears likely to be resolved soon: A Fox website rallying support for its case, Keepmynets.com, is no longer live.
In February, Univision pulled down its Univision, Unimás, Galavisión, Univision Deportes and El Rey signals from Charter Spectrum’s service and its more than 2.5 million Hispanic customers. A temporary restraining order restored them the next day.
Charter’s pricing dispute with Showtime has been resolved.