No Family Guy? No Simpsons? No American Idol? (Well, that last one we could do without). The Fox network is threatening to go dark by the end of the week on Time-Warner in Los Angeles and other cities if the cable company doesn't meet its demands to pay about $1 per subscriber per month in the 27 cities were it owns broadcast stations.

It sounds like a steep demand for company that used to give away its content to cable companies for the privilege of being able to sell its advertisers on more viewers in key markets. But content is king, and Fox is gambling that Time-Warner needs its shows more than Fox need's the cable provider's eyeballs.

Chase Carey, the CEO of Fox parent News Corp., has said that Fox is worth $5 a customer. Fox has one ace in the hole — the NFL: Playoffs start in January, and Time-Warner customers who are pigskin fans aren't going to want to be looking at a black screen, especially after paying their December cable bills.

Fox has been taking its battle to the airwaves with commercials urging customers who want to keep its programs flowing to call Time-Warner Cable.

[Spotted at LABizObserved].

LA Weekly