Comcast, Fox in Carriage Talks as Deal Nears End

Takedown of broadcast, cable signals not likely
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Fox Still Talking


Comcast, the biggest cable operator, and Fox Networks, one
of the top programmers, are engaged in quiet renewal discussions as their
carriage agreement covering the Fox broadcast stations and some regional sports
networks nears an end-of-year expiration.

On its Web site, Comcast lists Fox stations in Chicago,
Washington, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta and Baltimore as being among those with
agreements that may expire, as well as cable networks including Fox Business,
FSN Midwest, FSN New Mexico and FSN Southwest.

Neither company would comment on the situation, but a Fox
source said that "talks are ongoing and a service interruption was not
expected.

Another source familiar with the situation indicated that
there didn't appear to be any major issues standing in the way of an agreement
and that Comcast prefers to do its deals amicably without a lot of public
attention.

Meanwhile Fox said it reached a new carriage agreement with
a smaller distributor, Service Electric Cablevision. Their deal was also set
to expire at the end of the year
. The new deal covers stations WTXF-TV
Philadelphia, and WWOR-TV, New York, and Cable channels including BTN, Fox
College Sports, Fox Deportes, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Soccer Channel, Fuel TV,
FX,  National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Speed, Nat Geo Mundo and
Utilisima.

"We are delighted that an agreement was reached without
any service interruption for SECV customers and their loyal Fox viewers,"
Fox said in a statement.

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