John Kerry (D-Mass.) has told Fox that if it does not find a way to keep its
broadcast signals on the air after the Dec. 31 expiration of its contract with
Time Warner, he wants the FCC to step in and mandate that interim carriage.
came late Wednesday in response to News Corp. President Chase Carey's letter to
Kerry explaining that Fox was not interested in arbitration of the retrans
dispute, which Kerry had proposed and Time Warner agreed to.
letter is a rejection of arbitration as a solution, but it is silent on
alternative mechanisms for keeping the signal on the air post contract
expiration," said Kerry in his statement. "That is my primary goal.
If FOX can find an alternative way to achieve that end or reach agreement with
TWC before the contract expires, then there is no need for us to act."
is concerned about the cable viewers who could wake up without the TV stations
that will be carrying big-ticket college bowl games the first week of January.
FOX believes that withdrawing programming from 4 million households is its best
negotiating tactic," he said, "then I would ask the FCC to
intervene and mandate continued carriage and arbitration..."