Charter Communications is being accused of threatening to “preemptively drop” Fox regional sports networks as a way of manipulating the sale of the channels, Multichannel News reports.
The allegation comes from Big3 Networks, the three-on-three pro basketball league headed by rapper Ice Cube and investor Jeffrey Kwatinetz, which is one of the bidders for the 21 Fox RSNs.
Multichannel News reports that Big3 “said in letters to both the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission on April 11 that it had held preliminary talks with Charter about possible carriage of the channels should it be the winning bidder. After some brief discussions, Big3 claims Charter broke off talks, which it says could harm its ability to bid successfully for the channels.”
The report adds: “Charter’s actions, Big3 claims, are especially curious since one of the cable company’s largest shareholders — Liberty Media — is also a bidder for the Fox RSNs.”
Final bids were expected to be in by today, April 15.