LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Hey Trojans, Bruins and Kings fans: “Game over.”
That was the banner headline of a full-page ad purchased by News Corp. in the Los Angeles Times sports section on Sunday, warning L.A.-area fans that TV broadcasts of upcoming games could be compromised by subsidiary Fox Networks’ ongoing carriage war with former subsidiary DirecTV.
Similar ads in other markets warned fans that they could soon be without televised pro football.
The ad, which urges fans to “Get direct with DirecTV by logging onto KeepMyNets.com or by calling 866-KEEP-MY-NETS,” says that Fox broadcast channels could soon go dark, too.
On Thursday, Fox went public with details of an ongoing carriage dispute with DirecTV, announcing that the satellite service has threatened to pull its channels on November 1 if a new contract can’t be worked out.
The Fox Networks deal covers not only regional sports cable networks like Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West, but also FX and National Geographic.
A separate deal covering 27 Fox owned-and-operated stations is set to expire on December 31 — a fact that Fox alluded to Sunday when it said it that Los Angeles viewers could also “soon” lose access to local stations Fox 11 and Fox 13.
Down the road, another affiliate deal covering Fox News Channel is set to expire on January 31.
DirecTV officials — who are charging subscribers in excess of $80 a month for programing packages — say News Corp. is seeking carriage-fee increases in excess of 40 percent.