NEW YORK (
is preparing to launch a marketing campaign Friday aimed at
Time Warner Cable
as the two companies compete over television programming fees, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Time Warner Cable's contract to carry News Corp.'s Fox network, as well as cable channels including FX, expires at the end of the month. New contract talks hinge over the issue of cash fees to carry broadcast TV rights, the
"Negotiations are ongoing, but Fox's current demands are unreasonable, especially in this economic climate," Maureen Huff, a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman, told the newspaper. "We hope our customers understand that they can switch, but every provider, including satellite and telephone companies, faces rising programmer costs."
Time Warner Cable since late November has run its own ad campaign, in which it currently doesn't mention News Corp. by name, the
says. Time Warner Cable issued a press release Friday saying it has made a series of advertising and Web site enhancements "designed to educate consumers about the demands made by some television networks. "
"Our customers are letting us know that they want us to fight against rapidly increasing programming prices," said Glenn Britt, Time Warner cable's chairman and CEO, in a statement Friday. "We've heard them, and we intend to put as much pressure as possible on programmers with unreasonable demands to get our customers the best prices we can."
News Corp.'s ads will warn consumers in cities such as New York and Los Angeles that Fox programs such as football games and "The Simpsons" may go off the air for some Time Warner Cable subscribers. Fox wants a "price that's fair," the
Historically, networks such as News Corp. and
have received cash fees for their cable channels and not for broadcast networks, the