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[January 04, 2013]
Deal keeps Fox 7 on Suddenlink lineup
Jan 04, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Crisis averted.
Fox and Suddenlink Communications reached a tentative deal late Thursday that kept an estimated 30,000 Central Texans from losing access to Fox 7 and several well-known cable networks.
Suddenlink has 1.2 million customers in cities nationwide, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. That includes customers in Georgetown, Hutto, Jarrell, Leander, Pflugerville and Round Rock.
"The current agreement between the companies has been extended for another week while they work out the details of the new agreement," Suddenlink said in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The dispute centered around retransmission fees -- cash Suddenlink, the nation's 11th-largest cable provider, and its competitors must pay broadcasters in order to carry their signals. Fox had said Suddenlink was undervaluing its networks.
"We look forward to finalizing the agreement and are pleased that we could come to terms without any service interruption for Suddenlink customers and our loyal Fox viewers," the network said in a statement.
Cable networks covered by the deal include Fox College Sports, Fox Deportes, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Soccer, Fox Sports Southwest, Fuel, FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Speed.
Had the contract not been extended, viewers in the Austin area could have missed out on watching Texas A&M;'s football team take on Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl game, which was scheduled to air on Fox 7 on Friday night.
KXAN, Austin's NBC affiliate, found itself in a similar dispute with Suddenlink in 2008. The channel was unavailable for nearly three months while contract talks dragged on.
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