Deadline looms for DirecTV, Fox

Talks continue to avoid midnight blackout

DirecTV and Fox Networks are continuing to negotiate a resolution to their carriage dispute with a deadline looming Monday at midnight Pacific time.

The companies held talks throughout the weekend, according to a Fox spokesman, who indicated that further negotiations are taking place Monday. On Oct. 20, DirecTV declared that if a deal was not hammered out by Nov. 1, over 20 Fox cable channels would be pulled from the satcaster’s lineup.

The channels that could be affected include FX, National Geographic Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, Fox Movie Channel, FOX Deportes, and 19 regional sports networks.

The Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel do not face threat of removal yet, but could be affected in the coming months because two separate deals with DirecTV covering those channels come up at the end of the year and early 2012, respectively.

DirecTV filed a complaint with the FCC on Thursday alleging that Fox was deliberately misleading consumers with its advertisements regarding the dispute into thinking that the broadcast network faced Nov. 1 removal.

Fox Networks, which is owned by News Corp., is said to be seeking a deal that would bring together the Fox Networks and the TV stations into one pact.

DirecTV has alleged that Fox is demanding a 40% increase in affiliate fees. The satcaster is available in nearly 20 million U.S. homes.