×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox Sports 1, AT&T In Dispute Over Fees For Nascar, Golf, Soccer

At first glance, a new battle between Fox Sports 1 and AT&T U-verse would appear to be the latest in a very long line of skirmishes between media companies and video-distribution outlets over prices for programming. But this one has a twist: Fox Sports 1 will continue to be shown on the AT&T service, even though some of its bigger events may not.

The 21st Century Fox-owned sports cable network said Friday it would not show some major events to AT&T U-verse subscribers, including Saturday’s Nascar Xfinity Series race from Atlanta; eight other Nascar Xfinity series races; 17 Big East Conference basketball games, eight United States Golf Association events; and many Major League Soccer matches, unless the two sides could come to new terms.

AT&T said it would not pay the extra costs Fox Sports required for such events. “Fox Sports 1 is asking AT&T to pay additional fees for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Big East Basketball Games, as well as U.S. Golf Association tournaments. While it’s important to us that we provide our customers with the content they want, we don’t believe that it is reasonable to pass on the added costs of carrying this programming to our customer,” the company said in a statement.” Our strategy has always been to carry the sports our customers want most, but only through fair deals for our customers and our business. We won’t agree to a deal that would cause our customers to pay unreasonable rates.”

Showdowns between TV networks and the outlets that bring their programs into consumers’ homes have increased in recent years, all part of a desire by media companies to increase the subscriber fees they obtain from carriage deals with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and the like. Those fees represent a stable source of income at a time when many advertisers are investing money in digital and taking some away from TV.

In many cases, however, those conflicts are all-or-nothing deals. If the two parties can’t come to an agreement, the entire network goes dark. Such has been the case with recent flare-ups between Weather Channel and DirecTV or Fox News Channel and Dish.

In the current fight, Fox Sports 1 is trying to get paid for programming that was not in place when its carriage deal with AT&T was established. Nascar signed a new deal in 2013 that moved its events to Fox and NBC from Walt Disney’s ESPN and Time Warner’s Turner Sports for this year. Many of the other events at the center of the new dispute were also added to Fox Sports 1 after it secured carriage rights.

AT&T U-verse has approximately 6 million subscribers, according to market research firm SNL Kagan.

Fox Sports 1 said it had made “attempts to negotiate an agreement that extends to these events.” Unless each side’s stance changes, U-verse subscribers may miss out on a Nascar race tomorrow.

More TV

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content