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Fox to air on satellite TV in time for football, but contract dispute isn’t over


Satellite TV viewers denied programs from Spokane’s Fox Network station, KAYU, will start seeing them today as both sides in a contract dispute called a four-week cease-fire in time for this weekend’s Super Bowl.

Northwest Broadcasting Inc., which operates KAYU TV, approved a deal that allows DirecTV to transmit Fox programs to customers in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

Their contract ended Dec. 31. Since then, KAYU has not allowed DirecTV to carry its signal. The key issue is how much DirecTV will pay to carry KAYU.

The companies will try to settle that dispute over the next month. Northwest CEO and President Brian Brady said in a news release his company is seeking less than three cents per day per subscriber from DirecTV.

A DirecTV spokesman said resumption of Fox programs should begin today.

The dispute also affects other Northwest Broadcasting stations in New York, Oregon and Yakima.

Since the blackout started Jan. 1, thousands of affected customers called and e-mailed the two media companies, looking for alternate options to watch TV shows and NFL playoff games.

Numerous others either cancelled their DirecTV subscription or used antennas to watch Fox shows over the air.

On Tuesday, Brady asked DirecTV to refund subscribers who paid a fee to cancel contracts. DirecTV Senior Vice President Dan Hartman said the decision to renew the talks is not linked to refunds.

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