A dispute between Suddenlink Communications and News Corp./Fox over how much Suddenlink should pay for some Fox channels could result in some channels being pulled from Suddenlink's cable system.
A contract between Suddenlink and News Corp./Fox expires at 5 p.m. today, Suddenlink said in an email.
"Negotiations continue," said Gene Regan, Suddenlink's director of corporate communications.
The current negotiation does not affect Fox News Channel or Fox Business because those networks are part of a separate, longer-term contract, Regan said. Channels in the Charleston market that would be affected: Speed, National Geographic, FX, Fuel, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes and Fox College Sports.
Regan said in a prepared statement, "We're willing to pay a fair price for these channels, but a nearly 25 percent increase - which is what News Corp./Fox is currently demanding - is excessive by any measure.
"We've made progress in our negotiations and, if more time is needed, we'll ask for an extension beyond Jan. 2," he said. "If News Corp. lets us, Suddenlink will gladly keep these channels under the current agreement until a new agreement is reached."
If News Corp. removes its channels, Suddenlink customers will receive a $1.52 per month credit, applied retroactively and prorated for the number of days the affected channels are not available, the cable operator said.
Information about the dispute is posted on a website Suddenlink has established at www.SuddenlinkOnYourSide.com.
No statements about the dispute could be found on any of the News Corp. or Fox websites.
Suddenlink offers television, Internet, phone, security and other services to more than 220,000 households and 9,500 businesses in West Virginia, making it the largest cable broadband company in the state. Suddenlink also has operations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Arizona.
Last month, Suddenlink's management team bought the company for $6.6 billion in partnership with BC Partners, a company headquartered in Britain, and the Canada Pension Plan's CPP Investment Board.
News Corp. says on its website that it has total assets of about $60 billion and total annual revenues of about $34 billion. The company has operations in cable network programming, filmed entertainment, television, direct broadcast satellite television and publishing.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.