Fox and local pay-TV operators fail to see eye to eye

Unless local pay-TV operator StarHub cuts a new deal Fox Networks Group (FNG), customers will find themselves with more than 20 channels cut from the pay-TV network.

(Read also: Starhub axes 8 Fox channels: Is it a big deal really?)

This comes at a time with rising content costs resulting in extended talks between rights holders and broadcasters. According to an article on The Straits Times, more than 20 channels could be taken off StarHub’s pay-TV service, including popular ones like National Geographic Channel, Fox and Star World. The current deal does not include sports channels such as Fox Sports and Star Cricket, which come under a separate deal.

In a statement to Marketing, Howie Lau, chief marketing officer at StarHub said the ongoing renewal negotiations with Fox Networks Group have been very challenging and protracted.

"But we are still working hard to come to an agreement which creates value for our customers, FNG and ourselves,” Lau said.  He added that StarHub is unable to share more details currently given the commercial sensitivity but will continually give updates on the situation.

It will also be running crawlers on the FNG channels to give customer notice in the event that talks are unsuccessful.

Singtel declined on the matter but Marketing understands that it has also yet to strike a new deal with FNG. Its current deal slated to end next month.

Fion Yeo, GM of Singapore, FOX Networks Group said:

"We believe in long-term partnerships and we are making progress in the negotiations. We remain optimistic that we will reach a solution soon."

This follows recent confirmation that StarHub axed eight of its channels under the FNG label which will no longer be part of its pay-TV package from end of the month.

The channels, according to an article on ST, are music channels Nat Geo Music, Channel V, Channel V Mainland China, and Channel V Taiwan; non-fiction channel National Geographic Channel HD; and Mandarin entertainment channel Xing Kong. The fate of 25 other Fox channels such as StarWorld and Fox had not yet been decided at the time.