Fox, Time Warner in fees ad war

People leaving the Time Warner Center in New York City.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: A nasty spat between Fox broadcasting and Time Warner cable could leave many viewers without their favorite shows starting New Year's Day. Fox is asking higher carriage fees for its local and national programs. If Time Warner doesn't cough up, it will lose American Idol, The Simpsons, House, and NFL football from its line-up. Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman has that.


Mitchell Hartman: This dispute may be over carriage fees, but the ads sound more like a wrestling-show smackdown. Here's Time Warner:

Time Warner Ad: With TV networks demanding massive price increases, hundreds of thousands of you have spoken out. You've told us to get tough.

And in the other corner, Fox:

Fox Ad: No Simpsons? (D'oh!) No 24? (This is over) No Fox? No Way. TV with no Fox, thanks a bundle Time Warner.

Phillip Swann of TVPredictions.com thinks it's unlikely Time Warner will flinch at this point. Meaning, its cable systems in New York, Los Angeles, and other major markets could be "No Fox" zones by New Years Day.

Phillip Swann: TV providers are saying, "Look, we've got to cut costs." And the broadcasters are obviously saying, "We've got very valuable programming that people want. And we're going to demand more money for it." And who loses? The consumer, as always.

Time Warner urges subscribers to "vote" online against Fox's price hikes to prevent higher cable bills. Fox tells viewers to vote on its Web site -- and to junk Time Warner cable for satellite TV.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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