The Hollywood Reporter reported Thursday night that DirecTV has threatened to drop Fox Networks if a new agreement isn't reached by Tuesday, November 1st.
Initially, this was seen as a reason for concern among the MMA masses with the UFC's debut on "big" Fox set for Saturday, November 12.
According to information in the Reporter's story, fans planning to watch on DirecTV can relax:
Fox Networks includes FX, National Geographic Channel, 19 regional sports networks, Fox Movie Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes. Fox broadcast stations and Fox News Channel are not involved in the negotiations.
DirecTV is claiming that Fox is asking for a 40% increase in carriage fees. The two companies' previous agreement expired on September 30th but no progress has been made in negotiations. DirecTV reaches over 19 million homes.
If the agreement lasts for any extended period of time, the only thing affecting UFC viewers on DirecTV would be season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter and any second-run programming planned for Fuel. As of yet, no dates or schedule have been announced for either.
History Of Disputes
If this story sounds familiar, it's because Fox and parent company News Corp. have battled with providers for the last few years including Cablevision and Dish Network -- both in October 2010.
On October 1, 2010, Fox removed 19 regional sports channels and two entertainment channels from Dish Network when the two sides clashed over fees, affecting 14.3 million homes during the blackout. The issue was resolved in a month.
On October 16, 2010, three local Fox/MyNetwork TV stations along with Fox Business Network, Fox Deportes and Nat Geo Wild were removed from New York regional cable provider CableVision. Three million homes were affected in the two-week dispute.