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Football Fans May Be In The Dark If New TV Deal Isn’t Reached


One of the most important games of the NFL season might be blacked out for 17 million people if the impasse between Charter Communications and NBCUniversal cannot be resolved.

The current contract between the cable giant and NBCUniversal expires Dec. 31.

Unless the impasse is resolved, cable subscribers who get their TV from Spectrum will not be able to watch the Jan. 1 NBC Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, a game that has huge playoff implications.

At issue are what are called “carriage fees,” which are the fees that NBCUniversal, like other content providers, charges Charter to show NBCUniversal channels.

NBCUniversal values its partnership with Charter Spectrum, our third largest distributor,” the company said in a statement.

“Charter Spectrum has been unyielding in its demand for terms superior to those agreed to by the rest of the industry, including larger distributors. Given this position, we feel the responsibility to inform viewers that Charter Spectrum may drop NBCUniversal’s networks at the end of the year, including NBC, Telemundo, USA, Bravo and hit shows including the #1 show on TV — Sunday Night Football, WWE, the Golden Globes, This Is Us and more.”

Charter‘s only comment has been to note that pulling the plug on programming would be NBCUniversal’s decision.

Earlier in 2016, Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The new company was branded as Spectrum. The deal made Charter America’s second-largest cable and Internet provider.

Other NBCU networks, including MSNBC, Bravo, E, USA and SyFy, will also go dark if no deal is reached by midnight Saturday.

NBC on Thursday began running a warning to customers.

Carriage disputes occur often, said TVPredictions.com publisher and president Phil Swann.

“Deals are made with multi-year terms and they end at year’s end,” he said. “More times than not, they get settled before blackout. But you never know, which causes viewer anxiety.”

What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.

H/T westernjournalism.com

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