See Sunday morning update:

DIRECTV Loses 48 Stations In 2 Fee Fights – UPDATE #3

Update: NBC issued a statement on Saturday evening saying carriage negotiations with Charter have been extended, meaning no blackout will be implemented at midnight.

“Negotiations with Charter Spectrum for the NBCUniversal portfolio of networks have been extended. We will continue to negotiate in good faith so that Charter Spectrum customers can continue to receive NBCUniversal’s valuable networks and we hope to be able to reach a deal,” NBCUniversal’s statement read.

We will update this story again as developments occur.

Here is our original article on the dispute:

Some Charter subscribers this weekend could lose their local NBC channels while all Charter customers could lose the NBC-owned cable networks due to a fee fight with NBC Universal.The current carriage agreement between the companies expires on January 1. NBC issued a statement yesterday saying if a deal is not reached by then, its signals could be pulled from the cable operator’s lineup. Charter has more than 17 million subscribers, including in such large markets as New York and Los Angeles.

“Charter Spectrum has been unyielding to its demand for terms superior to those agreed to by the rest of the industry, including larger distributors,” NBC said in a statement. “Given this position, we feel the responsibility to inform viewers that Charter Spectrum may drop NBC Universal’s networks at the end of the year.”

Actually, NBC would pull the signals rather than Charter dropping them. By law, a pay TV provider can not carry a channel without its permission. If Charter does not meet NBC’s price for carrying its channels, NBC would not permit Charter to keep them in its lineup.

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Charter has franchises in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles where NBC owns the local affiliates. Charter subs in those markets could lose their local NBC channels on Sunday if a new pact is not reached by then. Local NBC affiliates not owned by NBC would not be affected in this dispute.

In addition, all Charter subscribers would lose such NBC-owned channels as Telemundo, Bravo, USA Network, CNBC, E!, Syfy, Oxygen and MSNBC.

Charter has refused to comment on the dispute other than to note NBC holds the decision whether to pull its signals.

The fee fight is the third facing a major pay TV operator this week. DIRECTV could lose 48 local stations on January 1 due to separate fee fights with Cox Media and Hearst while Dish could lose two CBS affiliates on New Year’s Day because of a carriage dispute. In addition, Dish last night lost the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City in yet another fee fight.

— Phillip Swann