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It looks like FOX is offering Time-Warner Cable an extension after all, despite our concerns they were playing hardball. It's past midnight and TWC customers are still enjoying FOX programming, though I guess at this hour that may be local programming after all. It looks like the two sides agreed to a last minute, and short, extension of the current contract terms. The dispute is over how much TW should pay News Corp. to carry the FOX network.
While Time-Warner is thinking around 25-50 cents, FOX is leaning harder toward a dollar. With FOX's ratings dominance in the winter, when American Idol and 24 kick off and the NFL heads into the playoffs, Time-Warner certainly doesn't want their customers to lose the FOX network. That's how you lose customers.
FOX is struggling to find new revenue streams as advertising dollars continue to decline alongside ratings (though FOX is up on the year already), and charging more to cable and satellite providers who carry their network is one of the ways all the networks are considering. So you can bet CBS, ABC and NBC are watching this on closely.
While most reports are saying it's a "brief extension" while contract negotiations are ongoing, The Hollywood Reporter is saying it's a three-hour extension only, which means a final answer may come as soon as later on today. I guess we'll just have to wait and see ... or if you're a TWC customer, perhaps not see.