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Charter Communications Countersuit

Charter Communications recently filed a countersuit against 21st Century Fox alleging that the programmer violated the MFN (most favored nation) contract clauses, which concerns the licensing of Fox News.

The programmer, Fox sued Charter Communications a few months ago by claiming that the MSO misinterpreted its acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Fox also added that Charter is trying to improperly leverage the superior program licensing terms of this acquisition. Reports say that similar complaints were filed by Showtime and Univision against Charter.

Charter Communications noted that the MFN clauses in their agreement with Fox “provide that if Fox News offers another cable company more favorable terms, including lower rates than those that are provided for in the agreements at issue here, Fox News is then obligated to offer those same rates to TWC or Charter.”

The recent countersuit filed by Charter says, “Based on publicly available information, and depending upon which agreement is determined to govern the relationship between New Charter and Fox News, defendants believe that they are entitled to such an offer, and thus intend to file a counterclaim asserting a breach of the MFN clause.”

Last week, a statement was released by officials, who work for the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, in which, they warned Charter customers about a potential blackout. “In July 2016, Univision had no choice but to initiate litigation against Charter Communications Inc. because Charter had taken the preposterous position that Time Warner Cable which Charter acquired in May 2016 was actually managing the newly-combined company and that Charter had no obligation to honor contracts that required it to negotiate new carriage deals with Univision,” the broadcaster said.

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21st Century Fox Suit

“This is a perfect example of how a behemoth cable company like Charter uses its excessive market power to harm content companies and the millions of subscribers who rely on Univision and its suite of networks for vital news and information in language,” Univision further added. “Despite Univision’s many attempts to resolve the dispute by offering good-faith settlement solutions, Charter has rejected all of Univision’s efforts.”

“Given this unfortunate impasse, Univision has no choice but to inform Charter’s customers that they may lose access to Univision’s networks and stations. Univision is committed to continuing to fight for the dignity and value of our community in the marketplace and the important role we play in providing a voice for Hispanic America during these uncertain times.”