Charter-NBC Dispute Could Black Out Nearly 17 Million Customers Nationwide

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Nearly 17 million Charter Communications pay-TV customers nationwide — and about 1 million in New York — could lose NBCUniversal networks in a carriage dispute between the companies.

Should the pay-TV provider and programmer not reach an agreement by Sunday, some Charter customers could miss a crucial Sunday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions — the winner earns the NFC North crown — and possibly two outdoor hockey games, Sunday’s Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings and Winter Classic featuring the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, as well as Monday’s Tournament of Roses Parade.

The blackout could result in a dropping of NBCUniversal networks such as Bravo and USA for Charter’s 16.9 million Spectrum pay-TV subscribers nationwide. And those in cities such as New York, L.A., and Dallas-Fort Worth, where NBC owns the station, customers would also lose the flagship NBC station.

The two companies are at an impasse, the programmer says.

“NBCUniversal values its partnership with Charter Spectrum, our third largest distributor,” the company said in a statement. “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, we feel the responsibility to inform viewers that Charter Spectrum may drop NBCUniversal’s networks at the end of the year, including NBC, Telemundo, USA, Bravo and hit shows including the #1 show on TV — Sunday Night Football, WWE, the Golden Globes, This Is Us and more.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Mike Snider

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