DirecTV has threatened to drop several prominent Fox cable networks and 19 regional sports channels if an agreement isn't reached by Nov. 1, affecting most of its 19.5 million viewers. In South Florida, that includes Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports, which broadcast Marlins, Heat, Panthers and Rays games as well as coverage of the state's major college teams.
DirecTV contends that Fox is seeking a 40 percent increase in carriage fees from the previous contract which expired Sept. 30.
Fox, in an official statement, says: "That's just not true. We have proposed to keep Fox Networks on DirecTV for the same price, and on the same terms as they are currently carried while we attempt to work out a fair agreement. Unfortunately, DirecTV has decided unless they get their way, they are going to pull your favorite networks, shows and sports programming."
DirecTV Director of Public Relations Robert G. Mercer said: "We hope to resolve the situation before any action is taken, but we'll do what's necessary to protect our customers from excessive and unwarranted fee increases. We already pay News Corp. nearly a billion dollars a year for their channels and we have no problem continuing to compensate them fairly and paying no more than what other TV providers pay."
This will probably all work out before April of 2012. It normally always does. Dish Network went through the same thing last season and it was somehow resolved. But don't expect it to be quick, the two companies are playing the game of who will blink first. And it is not clear to me who has the stronger position, but if I had to guess it would be DirecTV. But I could be wrong about that.