NBC Universal and Charter Communications are currently engaged in a contract dispute over how Charter will carry NBC Universal channels going forward. They extended negotiations past a Jan. 1 deadline to try to work out a deal, but it appears that neither side is budging at the moment. Charter is also in hot water with Fox News, which filed a lawsuit against Charter in July 2016. The lawsuit alleges that Charter illegally tried to secure Fox News programming at a lower rate.
There are few details being released about the negotiations, which is expected. Both sides are trying to frame their side of the argument in these news reports, so it is also expected to hear both NBCUniversal and Charter talk tough about each other right now. It will be interesting to see how the dispute plays out in the coming weeks.
There are a couple of lessons to learn from this story. The first is that companies have to work not just on their public relations during a complex negotiation with a business partner, but also behind the scenes with the legal processes that need to be completed to get a contract dispute resolved.
The other lesson here is that no company can do this alone. They need legal help to ensure that they are complaint with rules and regulations regarding their finances and their business. As such, it is imperative for companies to consult with experienced business and commercial attorneys.
Source: St. Louis Business Journal, "Charter, NBCUniversal locked in contract dispute," Dec. 30, 2016