Fox News Sues Charter Over Carriage Spat

Says cable operator trying to pay lower rate tied to former Time Warner Cable systems

Fox News is the latest cable network to file suit against Charter Communications, claiming the cable operator is trying to force programmers to accept lower affiliate fees tied to old deals with Time Warner Cable.

This is the second such lawsuit filed against Charter in about two weeks. On July 8, Spanish language broadcaster Univision filed a similar lawsuit in New York, claiming that Charter was trying to pay for carriage of its networks under the lower Time Warner Cable rate.

Related: Senate Report Cites Charter, Time Warner Cable Overcharges

Charter completed its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks on May 18, a deal that bolstered Charter’s overall cable subscriber rolls from about 4 million to more than 17.3 million. Time Warner Cable had been the second largest cable operator in the country prior to the deal, with about 11 million video customers.

Part of the reason for the deal was the programming cost synergies larger scale brings. Charter has identified about $800 million in overall cost synergies from the mergers, including about $400 million in savings due to lower programming rates.

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