Fox Networks Group is sounding the alarm to viewers in a carriage dispute with cable operator Altice USA as a Sept. 30 contract deadline looms for FX, Fox Sports 1, Fox’s New York O&O and National Geographic Channels. Fox began airing warning spots on select channels on Altice USA systems Sunday in the New York City area to warn viewers of a potential blackout coming.
ZGS Communications, a Hispanic-owned broadcaster with nine Spanish-language Telemundo affiliates in some of the nation’s largest markets, told the FCC that DirecTV has “systematically denied” the group carriage on its service and ZGS asked the FCC to broker a mutually-acceptable carriage deal with DirecTV or the merged AT&T-DirecTV before approving the merger..
The broadcasting arm of Gannett Co. has told Dish Network that it will pull its stations from the satellite TV provider if Dish does not block the Auto Hop commercial-skipping feature on its DVRs or agree to pay penalties. The current retrans deal between the two companies expires on Oct. 7. Stations in 19 cities would be affected.
The battle between AMC Networks and Dish Network continues to escalate as AMC announced that it will provide Dish customers with live streams of AMC’s Hell on Wheels and Braxton Family Values.
Both companies say they’re not likely to come to an agreement in their carriage conflict any time soon. Viacom issued a resigned-sounding statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying that the standoff could go on “indefinitely.” DirecTV said that the dispute centers on carriage of Viacom’s premium channel, EPIX.
There’s a new crisis in Bikini Bottom. Ratings for Viacom-owned Nickelodeon and other cable channels are sinking fast in a blackout that has kept DirecTV’s 20 million customers from watching SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and other popular shows.
The satellite provider and the Youngstown, Ohio, NBC affiliate failed to reach agreement on terms for a new carriage contract.
Satellite broadcaster Dish Network dropped the cable channel AMC from its service as a feud between the programmer and distributor showed no signs of being resolved. The dispute means that AMC has lost access to about 14 million homes just weeks before one of its most high-profile original shows — the drama Breaking Bad — is set to return.