Friday, December 30, 2016

NBC Networks Could Be Blacked Out For 16 Million Subscribers

By Claire Atkinson
The New  York Post
December 29, 2016

Million of households in the metro New York City area — including most viewers in Manhattan — could be shut out of a key “Sunday Night Football” game this weekend as Charter Communications and NBCUniversal are locked in a carriage dispute.

The current deal expires Dec. 31.

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

Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks earlier this year and rebranded the cable service as Spectrum.

The black-out blues are a familiar problem for pay-TV viewers who are routinely informed at the end of the year they may lose services.

A potential black-out would affect some 16 million subscribers, around 1 million of those households are in the New York market, Charter’s second largest market, after Los Angeles.

Sports fans could also lose access to NHL games on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. Plus, the NBC Sports Network is about to kick off Premiere League soccer coverage.

Also, NBC is scheduled to air the Golden Globes on Jan. 5.

NBC channels are set to begin running a bottom-screen crawl on Thursday night warning customers they will lose access to more than a dozen channels including Telemundo and CNBC.

The channels are expected to go dark at the stroke of midnight, meaning a sharp ending to those watching NBC’s New Year’s Eve coverage.

“NBCUniversal values its partnership with Charter Spectrum, our third largest distributor,” an NBCU spokesman told The Post. “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, the spokesman said, NBCU feels it is necessary to inform viewers that Charter Spectrum may drop NBCU’s networks at the end of the year.

Charter subs won’t be able to go online to access NBCU networks either as most of NBC’s coverage will be blacked out there too, a person familiar with talks said.

“The majority of programming will not be available online,” the person said.

NBC is creating a website called delivermyshows.com to tell viewers what’s going on.

Charter had no comment, but noted that NBCU is the party to yank the signal.

The two parties are no longer negotiating but NBCU has sent an offer letter which is currently with Charter.


Article Link To The New York Post: