NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As New Year's revelers count down to the end of 2009, time is also running out for Time Warner Cable and Fox to agree to a new contract.
Time Warner Cable and News Corp. (NWS, Fortune 500), Fox's parent company, have been locked in a public battle over how much the cable giant should pay for the right to deliver Fox networks into its subscribers' homes.
If a deal is not reached before midnight Thursday, all of the Fox-owned broadcast networks and some of its cable channels could disappear for most of Time Warner Cable's 13 million subscribers on New Year's Day.
News Corp. wants to charge Time Warner Cable (TWC) $1 per subscriber for airing its broadcast station, Fox. The contracts for six Fox cable channels -- FX, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Reality, Fox Soccer and Fox Sports en Español -- as well as certain regional sports networks are also slated to expire. But Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network will not be affected.
Public officials weigh in
As the deadline approaches, a flurry of government officials are trying to intervene. On Thursday, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter calling for a 30-day "cooling off period" to avoid programming blackouts. Time Warner Cable responded that it would agree to an interim agreement, but a Fox Network representative said the company was not ready to agree to that temporary deal and would continue to negotiate.