Still No Deals in Fox Talks With Cablevision, Dish

Retrans agreement with Dish expires at the end of the month.

NEW YORK -- There is still no breakthrough in the showdown between News Corp./Fox and two distributors about new programming deals, but at least the sides Thursday didn't engage in much verbal jousting.

Fox and Cablevision did not have telephone talks Thursday about their unresolved retransmission consent and cable network carriage issues as they have had in recent days. The gap between the parties' positions seems to remain in place. But like the day before, the sides stayed away from major sniping or issuing statements.

Meanwhile, Fox is continuing talks with satellite TV provider Dish Network, which has been without some Fox cable and regional sports networks since the beginning of the month. Dish also is in danger of losing broadcast signals as its retrans deal with Fox expires at the end of the month.

The two companies wouldn't characterize the state of their talks Thursday.

According to industry chatter, Dish CEO Charlie Ergen is expected back this week from a trip to the Himalayas. While Dish had said its negotiation team is fully functional even with Ergen out of the country, it will be interesting to see what impact his return has on the Fox talks.

Dish did have one deal to share Thursday, saying Time Warner's Turner unit has agreed that Dish customers will receive free, unlimited on-demand Web access to primetime content from TNT and TBS as part of TW's TV Everywhere initiative.

Programs from the networks will be available within 24 hours after an episode airs, with additional online content from other Turner networks, including Cartoon Network and TruTV, expected to be available by the end of the year.

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