Charter Spectrum and NBCUniversal have agreed to extend their contract talks to avoid a suspension in service to its 16 million subscribers nationwide, NBCUniversal announced Saturday night.
The Comcast-owned multi-channel provider was locked in a retransmission/carriage fee dispute with the large-scale communications company with a Jan. 1, 2017 negotiations deadline.
Unable to reach an agreement and not wanting a blackout of NBCUniversal programming (including Telemundo, Bravo, E!, Syfy, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, and Oxygen), the two sides have extended contract negotiations.
“Negotiations with Charter Spectrum for the NBCUniversal portfolio of networks have been extended. We will continue to negotiate in good faith so that Charter Spectrum customers can continue to receive NBCUniversal’s valuable networks and we hope to be able to reach a deal,” Caley Gray, Vice President, Communications, NBCUniversal said in a statement.
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.
Charter is the third-largest provider of NBCU’s programming.
The Spectrum home purchased Time Warner Cable this year for roughly $80 billion, making it the second-largest cable provider in America.
Additional reporting by Tony Maglio.