Fox Blasts TWC over Retrans Filing
Fox Cable Networks says Time Warner Cable is interfering in affiliate relationships, part of "desperate campaign" to "malign" programmers
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/11/2009 10:07:31 AMTime Warner Cable's FCC filing in support of Mediacom 's retransmission-consent complaint against Sinclair Broadcast Group, calling it an attempt by TWC to interfere with Fox's affiliate relationships.
In its Dec. 10 response, Fox Cable Networks called the filing "an extension of its desperate campaign to mask its impressive profits and instead malign its program suppliers' efforts to receive fair compensation.
"Rather than legal and public relations maneuverings," the statement continued, "Time Warner Cable would be better served by acknowledging the tremendous value provided by its content partners."
Time Warner Cable, which announced a retrans deal with Sinclair Dec. 7, said Fox had "brazenly sought to hijack the retransmission consent process" by inserting itself into its affiliates' retrans negotiations.
"Time Warner Cable has a signed agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting and there is no reason the FCC should intervene on a contract the Company executed in good faith," said the company in a statement. "This filing (in a matter between Mediacom and Sinclair, not even involving Time Warner or Fox) is obviously just an attempt to undermine and interfere with Fox's existing contractual relationship with its affiliate stations as well as artificially influence the negotiation process."
The FCC is currently considering a complaint by Mediacom that Sinclair was not been bargaining in good faith, as FCC rules require, though the definition of good faith bargaining is not spelled out.
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