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John Kerry says if Fox signal goes off Time Warner Cable he'll ask FCC to step in

December 30, 2009 |  5:27 pm

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communication, Technology and the Internet, again weighed in on the dispute between News Corp.'s Fox  and Time Warner Cable over distribution of the former's local TV stations and several cable channels.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Kerry said if News Corp.'s Fox pulled the signals for its local TV stations and several cable channels from Time Warner Cable, he would "ask the FCC to intervene and mandate continued carriage."

Kerry's statement came in response to a letter that News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey sent him saying that Fox was not interested in extending its current deal with Time Warner Cable or entering a binding arbitration.

The battle is over fees Fox wants Time Warner Cable to pay to carry its local TV stations. Fox is seeking $1 dollar per-subscriber, per-month. Time Warner Cable has offered about 30 cents per-subscriber, people close to the talks said. News Corp.'s Carey has already sent a company wide memo saying he expects the signals to be pulled.

So far, the Federal Communications Commission has stayed on the sidelines. A spokeswoman for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declined to comment on Kerry's latest statement.

-- Joe Flint

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