Contract talks between cable giant Charter Communications and NBCUniversal have hit an impasse, which, if not resolved before the current pact expires this weekend, could lead to a blackout of NBC channels for Charter customers, it was reported Friday.
An outage of NBC channels, including local broadcast station KNBC-TV Channel 4, would affect more than 1.6 million homes that subscribe to Charter’s Spectrum cable TV service, the Los Angeles Times reported. Charter is the largest pay-TV company in Southern California.
The current contract expires Jan. 1. If no deal is reached by then, resolving an impasse that reportedly developed Thursday, Charter would not have the authority to distribute NBC channels.
A blackout could prevent football fans from watching Sunday’s highly anticipated contest between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” NBC also would pull its other networks, including Telemundo, USA, Bravo, Syfy, E! and MSNBC, from Spectrum systems, according to The Times.
NBCUniversal said Charter “has been unyielding in its demand for terms superior to those agreed to by the rest of the industry, including larger distributors.” In the circumstances, “we feel the responsibility to inform viewers that Charter Spectrum may drop NBCUniversal’s networks at the end of the year.”
Charter took over Time Warner Cable’s systems earlier this year and rebranded the service as Spectrum.
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