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If News Corp. and Cablevision cannot reach an agreement by tomorrow morning, the cable operator’s three million customers may lose Fox Business Network, Nat Geo Wild and the Fox broadcast channel. News Corp.’s biggest cable networks, FX, Fox News Channel and Fox Sports Net are not affected.
As has been so often the case over the last two years, at issue are retransmission fees for the broadcast network, and calls for higher carriage fees from the cable channels.
Cablevision says that it currently pays News Corp. $70 million a year for the channels, and that the content company is demanding an increase to $150 million a year.
Cablevision has been more aggressive in fighting retransmission fees and higher carriage fees than many other operators. Earlier this year Cablevision customers missed the beginning of the Academy Awards telecast because the channel was pulled off-air due to a retransmission dispute with Disney.
Typically the two sides reach a deal before the deadline, or keep the channels on-air while negotiating. But that is not assured. Come Saturday, any Cablevision customers. hoping to watch Fox, FBN or Nat Geo Wild may be out of luck.