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Fox rejects fee arbitration with Time Warner Cable

'Signal interruption' likely at midnight Thursday

Posted: December 30, 2009 3:04 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2009 2:20 p.m.
 
UPDATED Wednesday, 3:20 p.m.:
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Fox broadcast network has rejected an offer from Time Warner Cable to submit to binding arbitration in a dispute over fees.

Chase Carey, chief operating officer of Fox owner News Corp., says the issue needs to be settled at the bargaining table and not through a third party.

Carey told staff in a memo earlier in the day that a signal interruption was likely when the current deal over fees expires at midnight Thursday.

The company did not directly address an offer by Time Warner Cable to continue to carry its signal while talks continue.

If no deal is reached, millions of cable subscribers could lose programs including "The Simpsons" and several football games through the long weekend.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It appears Fox won't accept Time Warner Cable's offer to carry its broadcast signal while a fee dispute continues.

Chase Carey, chief operating officer of Fox owner News Corp., told staff in a memo that a signal interruption was likely when the current deal over fees expires at midnight Thursday, halting service to millions of viewers.

Carey says an interim deal would simply help Time Warner without fair compensation to Fox.

Fox argues it needs to be paid more for broadcast signals that are retransmitted to subscribers of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said Wednesday the cable operator will agree to binding arbitration and whatever steps are necessary to preserve uninterrupted access to Fox signals.

Fox will respond formally later Wednesday.

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