At Our Deadline: Fox and DirecTV Ink Last-Minute Deal to Avoid Drops

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It could have been a scary Halloween for DirecTV customers, but Fox and DirecTV late Mon inked a deal to avoid the loss of several Fox nets at midnight. "We both know the past ten days have been challenging, but we’re pleased that both sides could eventually come together to ensure our viewers continue to enjoy Fox programming," said Fox and DirecTV in a joint statement. The deal ensures continued carriage of all Fox Networks, including FX, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, and the RSNs. Fox O&Os , Fox News and Fox Business wouldn’t have been affected by the Oct 31 deadline but were ultimately wrapped into the deal signed Mon. The Twittersphere was abuzz until the end: As negotiations were underway Mon, DirecTV furiously worked Twitter, pointing disgruntled subs to its OurPromisetoYou.com site as well as to CSRs who explained DTV’s take, which is chiefly higher prices, in the programming dispute. With the NBA officially canceling all games through Nov, DirecTV already had a short-term reprieve from hoops fans on the RSN-front. But the same couldn’t have been said for hockey. Perhaps the most interesting Twitter takeaway is the number of DirecTV celebrity customers. It kinda reminds us of that US Magazine feature—"Stars are Just Like Us… they might lose TV programming too." A few tweets: MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, "@DirecTV does me no good if I can’t get @foxsoccer. Will have to cancel and get another service provider." NBC‘s "Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper: "To @DirecTV, PLEASE DON’T CANCEL FX. I can’t live without Sons of Anarchy & American Horror Story. What do we do to fix this??" Late night talk show/NBC "The Voice" host Carson Daly: "Sons of Anarchy and FX better stay on direct tv. Best show ever. What’s the problem?" Wow, you’d think all these NBC peeps would have Comcast as their MVPD… DirecTV’s contract with Fox Nets actually expired Oct 1, but it continued to carry the channels on an interim basis. However, DirecTV took the unusual stance of throwing down the gauntlet on Oct 21 by alerting subs that it would "suspend" the Fox channels if the programmer didn’t get more realistic about price.

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