One of the most public disputes between a media company and a cable
company has finally come to a close. For the past 14 days, News Corp.
have been battling over license fees. The main problem
was the distribution of Fox, a network which hosts many Sunday NFL
games, and this week, the MLB World Series. And that's just the tip of
the iceberg. Fox is obviously a major channel, and a great many of
Cablevision's subscribers were missing out on content for 14 whole days.
Rarely do these disputes lead to channels being pulled, but Fox actually
went black on Cablevision systems for 14 whole days while the two
attempted to reach an agreement on pricing. Cablevision wanted a deal
similar to the one that Time Warner Cable reached, but clearly News
Corp. wanted more. Cablevision is a major carrier in New York City, so
the issue was magnified even further. After many days of battling,
Cablevision finally agreed to a deal, but it's not a deal they're happy
with. And it's almost a certainty that Cablevision rates will go up in
order to cover the additional fees that News Corp. demanded. Definitely a
lose-lose for consumers, but at least Fox is back. It'll just cost you
in the long run.
Fox Programming Returns to Cablevision
BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today reached agreement with News Corp. to return Fox programming to Cablevision. The channels will return to Cablevision immediately and in time for tonight's World Series game and tomorrow's NFL match-up between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers.
The company released the following statement:
"In the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest. Cablevision conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the Fox programs they wish to see.
Cablevision thanks its customers for understanding the reasons for the dispute and for staying with us. We are also grateful to the 175 government leaders who raised their voices to urge government intervention and binding arbitration to prevent this blackout. It is clear the retransmission consent system is badly broken and needs to be fixed.
In the end, our customers will pay more than they should for Fox programming, but less than they would have if we had accepted the unprecedented rates News Corp. was demanding when they pulled their channels off Cablevision."
The channels returning to Cablevision are Fox 5 (WNYW), Fox 29 (WTXF), My9, Fox Business Network, National Geographic Wild and Fox Deportes.
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings, the company owns and operates News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision's assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.