Time Warner Cable customers are in jeopardy of losing Fox Soccer Channel next month unless a deal can be agreed between the two companies before December 31, 2009.
The standoff between Time Warner Cable and Fox is similar to what happened between DISH Network and GolTV recently where both parties were unable to come to an agreement of how much the sports network should be paid. In that particular case, GolTV refused to back down regarding DISH Network’s demands and GolTV is no longer available via that satellite broadcaster.
If both Fox and Time Warner are unable to agree a fee per subscriber, it’s likely that Fox programming such as Premier League soccer, NFL football and college bowl games will not be seen by TWC subscribers beginning January 1.
Fox has created a website to make its viewers aware of the issue regarding Time Warner Cable. The KeepFoxOn.com website features press stories on the topic, tips on what you can do as a TWC customer, a list of programming that TWC customers would miss, as well as facts about the negotiations between Fox and TWC.
According to the web site, Fox claims that the amount it is asking for all of its networks is in the same ballpark as what Time Warner Cable pays for one network (ESPN at about $4 per subscriber, per month) and that based on its comparable cost of programming, could charge as much as $4 to $5 per month per subscriber.
Fox Sports International was contacted to make a statement regarding the news. Here’s what they said:
“For the past nine months, Fox has attempted to negotiate in good faith with Time Warner Cable. Our position in these negotiations is entirely reasonable – we are simply asking for fair compensation for the impressive value our Fox programming offers.
While negotiations are ongoing, we have a responsibility to prepare our viewers for the very likely possibility that Time Warner Cable may choose to no longer carry Fox Broadcasting, Fox Cable and Fox regional sports programming. Toward that end, today we launched a marketing campaign notifying Time Warner Cable subscribers that they may lose access to American Idol, 24, House and some of the best live event sports programming on TV (including most BCS Bowl games and NFL on Fox). The campaign consists of print advertising, TV spots, a call-in number (1-866-KEEP-FOX), and a website, www.keepfoxon.com.
Going forward, we will continue actively negotiating with Time Warner Cable in hopes of reaching a fair agreement and will attempt to keep our viewers informed of the situation every step of the way.”
Time Warner Cable has been contacted to provide a response, so we’ll publish that if and when they reply. Interestingly, Time Warner launched a website recently where it gives its customers the chance to vote for whether TWC should pay the higher rates from program providers such as Fox or roll-over. That website is at http://rolloverorgettough.com/
Are you a Time Warner Cable customer? If so, what are your thoughts about the likelihood that you may lose Fox Soccer Channel and other Fox networks? Share your feedback below.