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Fox near retransmission deal deadline with Dish

Agreement covers all of its broadcast stations

As its carriage battle with Cablevision hits day 14, Fox is bumping up against the witching hour on another retransmission consent deadline, this time with Dish Network in a pact that covers all of its broadcast stations.

Meanwhile, Comcast’s tussle with DirecTV over carriage of G4 is coming to a head. It’s expected the channel will be dropped from the satcaster’s lineup as of Monday.

Fox has already been in blackout mode with Dish since Oct. 1 when FX and 19 regional sports cablers went dark after the sides couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. Fox’s retrans deal with Dish for 27 stations expires Sunday. About 4 million of Dish’s 14.3 million subscribers are in markets served by Fox O&Os.

But reps for Fox and Dish indicated that the sides were making progress in their ongoing negotiations and were hopeful of averting a shutoff of the stations.

As for G4, the cabler used its signature series “Attack of the Show” to inform viewers of the standoff on Thursday. G4’s “Web Soup” host Chris Hardwick also sent a tweet to fans, urging DirecTV viewers to call a toll-free number in support of the channel.

“We have been trying to engage DirecTV in fair and reasonable discussions to continue to carry G4,” the channel said in a statement. “G4 offered DirecTV the same basic deal we have had for the past three years. However, they still plan to drop the network and deny G4 fans the only network that focuses on the popular gaming lifestyle.”

G4’s deal with DirecTV — believed to be around 5¢ per subscriber per month — originally expired at the end of September, but both sides agreed to a one-month extension. A similar arrangement didn’t appear to be in the cards as of Thursday afternoon, however.

“We’re in discussions with G4,” said DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer. “Unless we come to an agreement, the channel will come down on Nov. 1.”

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