Hours before DISH Network’s carriage agreement with Comcast’s E! and Style was to to expire at midnight, threatening a blackout of the two cable networks on DISH, the two sides have agreed to a short-term extension. The deal is “in hopes of reaching a long term solution,” E! and Style said in a statement.
Cablevision and Fox have until end of day today to file documents with the FCC proving that they have been negotiating in good faith in their carriage dispute that has kept Fox blacked out in 3 million Cablevision homes for the past 10 days. Cablevision has already sent its response, in which it defends its negotiating tactic, accuses Fox in bad faith negotiations and urges the FCC to intervene with the World Series coverage on Fox only 2 days away. Fox, which is yet to file, issued a statement blasting Cablevision’s accusations. Here are an excerpt from Cablevision’s FCC filing and Fox’s response:
The impasse in the negotiations between AT&T U-Verse and Crown Media, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel, over a new carriage agreement resulted in the two channels gong dark for 2.3 million subscribers at 12:01 AM EDT tonight when the two sides’ previous deal expired. Here are the statements by AT&T and Hallmark Channels:
AT&T: We are very disappointed that Hallmark has refused to provide AT&T and its customers with a fair deal one that is no worse than similarly-sized and smaller providers and refused to adhere to key obligations under our current deal. We offered to extend the current deal while talks continued, and Hallmark rejected that offer. We don’t want customers to lose their programming, but we believe strongly that our customers should not have to pay more than their fair share for Hallmark’s channels, which is exactly what Hallmark is demanding.
AT&T U-verse will replace the two Hallmark channels with a free preview of programming from Starz Kids & Family and Turner Classic Movies. According to Crown, negotiations hit a standstill as of Aug. 26.
Hallmark Channels is willing to re-start negotiations toward the distribution agreement as long as they are fair and in good faith. “I was stunned by the apparent disregard for the facts in AT&T’s recent statement regarding our negotiations,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Hallmark Channels. ”However, if they are really serious, my team and I are ready
It looks like the negotiations between the Walt Disney Co and Time Warner Cable for a new carriage agreement may not go down to the wire after all. On IHaveChoices.com, the website Disney launched last month in response to TWC’s RollOverOrGetTough.com, the company has posted the following statement.
The Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Cable have made significant progress in our negotiations for continued distribution of ABC, Disney and ESPN networks and services. We are now focusing all our attention on a successful conclusion of these efforts prior to the September 2 deadline.
UPDATE Sunday AM: TWC issued an almost identical statement on its site RollOverOrGetTough. Additionally, both companies have toned down rhetoric on their sites and have pulled attack advertising, a clear sign they consider an agreement pretty much a done deal. Among the issues at hand were retransmission consent fees for 4 ABC O&O stations sought by Disney, increases in carriage fees for the company’s cable channels ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family, a deal for new channel Disney Jr., which will replace SoapNet, as well as fees for Web-based ESPN3.com.