US satellite operator EchoStar Communications has forged a multi-year deal with News Corporation-owned Fox Network to broadcast the latter’s TV stations in 21 US markets.

The eleventh-hour agreement ensures EchoStar will continue to carry the stations in cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Denver after a three-year deal expired. Further details were not disclosed.

Negotiations between the two firms attracted analysts’ attention because they brought together EchoStar boss Charlie Ergen and Rupert Murdoch, who clashed last year when Ergen’s firm pipped NewsCorp to win the hand of satellite market leader DirecTV. The agreement may be a sign that they can continue to co-operate.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff