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[January 02, 2013]
Suddenlink asks News Corp/Fox for extension on airing channels
Jan 02, 2013 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Suddenlink Communications, the cable provider for many Lubbock and regional subscribers, has asked News Corp/Fox to allow Suddenlink to continue to air channels.
Although the contract deadline is 5 p.m. today, nobody knows when the negotiations will end or if the channels will turn to static after 5 p.m.
"Suddenlink wants to keep Fox networks and shows, and we're trying to convince News Corp/Fox to let us do that," he said. "We've made progress in negotiations and asked for an extension. We're waiting to hear back from Fox on whether or not they will grant that extension." The decision is up to Fox, Regan said.
"We have encouraged customers to contact Fox and ask them to keep their channels available while we negotiate," he said.
A representative for News Corp/Fox was unavailable today to respond.
Depending on the package Suddenlink cable television subscribers take, here are the channels in Lubbock that might be knocked out without an extension or a new contract: Speed, National Geographic, FX, Fuel, Fox Sports Southwest -- which broadcasts many Texas Tech games -- Fox Sports Plus, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes and Fox College Sports.
The negotiation does not affect Fox News Channel or Fox Business; they are part of a separate longer-term contract. The local affiliate won't be affected, said Gene Regan, director of corporate communications for Suddenlink.
Suddenlink is the third largest cable provider in Texas with about 500,000 customers. The communications company spans 16 states nationwide and has 1.4 million residential customers, Regan said.
In March, Suddenlink underwent similar negotiations with AMC Networks, which wanted a 50 percent fee increase. The two companies agreed to financial terms before the predicted blackout of channels came and announced a long-term agreement a couple of days later.
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