Officials with the parent of Fox broadcasting say they don't expect to reach an agreement with Time Warner Cable and plan to pull programming from the cable system at midnight tomorrow.
In the Triangle, that means Time Warner customers likely will lose access to FX, Fuel, Speed, Fox Soccer and other channels. In this market, Fox 50 and Fox News are not part of the dispute over money.
"We deeply regret that millions of Fox customers will be deprived of our programming," News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey wrote in a memo to employees today. "We need to receive fair compensation from Time Warner Cable to go forward."
Earlier today came word that Time Warner officials would accept federal mediation to settle the spat. Time Warner also said it would like to enter into an interim agreement to continue carrying Fox programming on Jan. 1 and beyond.
"That's not our call," said local Time Warner spokeswoman Melissa Buscher. "It's totally up to them. We're putting replacement programming in place" in case a deal isn't reached by midnight.
Time Warner also is in last-minute negotiations with other programmers, but has declined to identify which channels are threatened. Reports indicate that the Food Network and Great American Country could go dark.
The cable provider serves about 2 million customers in the Carolinas, including 800,000 from Raleigh to the coast.
Last year Time Warner faced off with Viacom in a feud that nearly resulted in MTV, Comedy Central and other channels going off the air. That dispute was resolved shortly after the new year began.