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Television dispute could leave customers out in the cold

A contract dispute between Fox Networks Group and Charter's Spectrum TV (which was rebranded as such after Charter purchased Time Warner Cable and phased out the TWC name) has a convoluted backstory but a very straightforward and simple consequence for people across the country: they may miss out on many of their favorite TV channels.

Time Warner's carrier deals expired on March 31, and so the company, now Spectrum, has been working to renegotiate contracts with their channels. This has caused many channels to sue, and Fox Networks Group in particular is threatening to pull their channels -- including FX, National Geographic and Fox Sports -- from Spectrum customers.

Charter is accusing Fox Networks Group of engaging in a practice that holds TV viewers hostage in a contract dispute, while Fox Networks Group is just looking for the best deal they can possibly achieve.

When a business or contract dispute arises between two or more companies, it isn't just the businesses that can be affected by the dispute. Often the customers of these companies can feel the effects of a contract dispute or a piece of business litigation. Maybe costs get passed on to the customer, or the customer loses access (potentially in this particular case) to a service.

Customers remember this, and it can affect the perception of a company in the marketplace. Dealing with these complex pieces of business litigation or effectively navigating the trouble waters of a contract dispute are essential steps to take to prevent your company's reputation from suffering.

Source: Syracuse.com, "Spectrum TV customers may lose Fox Sports, FX channels in contract dispute," Geoff Herbert, April 11, 2017

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