NBCUniversal Blackout Looms for Charter Spectrum Customers

Happy 2017! Carriage fee dispute could impact millions after January 1

Last Updated: December 29, 2016 @ 2:45 PM

Should a deal not get done soon, NBCUniversal could pull its owned and operated channels from cable provider Charter and its 16 million Spectrum customers.

The Comcast-owned multi-channel provider is currently locked in a retransmission/carriage fee dispute with the largescale communications company. With a January 1, 2017 negotiations deadline looming, NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, E!, Syfy, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, and Oxygen could all end up unavailable in many markets, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap.

While no time is a good time for a blackout, the upcoming NFL Postseason gives NBC a pretty solid bargaining chip. As does the so-called “Road to Wrestlemania” playing out on USA’s WWE shows, “Monday Night Raw” and “SmackDown Live.” Plus, Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration should be of utmost importance to MSNBC customers, and new broadcast hit “This Is Us” (pictured above) has fans salivating for its return.

Charter is the third-largest provider of NBCU’s programming. The cable provider declined comment to TheWrap. NBCU did not immediately respond to our requests.

The Spectrum home purchased Time Warner Cable this year for roughly $80 billion, making it the second-largest cable provider in America. Guess which is No. 1? That’d be Comcast, the aforementioned parent company of NBCUniversal.

Variety first reported the news of the potential NBCU-Charter blackout.