News Corp. Pulls Fox Channels Off Cablevision – Update
(RTTNews) – News Corp. (NWS) cuts the signals of Fox television
stations to Cablevision Systems Corp.’s (CVC) three million
households, after the programming deal between Cablevision and Fox
expired just after midnight Friday. The blackout affects Fox 5 and
My9 in New York, Fox29 in Philadelphia, and also the cable channels
Fox Business Network, NatGeo Wild and Fox Deportes. However,
custmomers would be able to view Fox News, FX and local sports
Cablevision called on News Corp. to put Fox 5 and My9 back on
Cablevision immediately and submit to binding arbitration, under a
neutral third party to reach a fair agreement.
Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of
communications, said, “News Corp.’s decision to remove Fox
programming from three million Cablevision households is a black
eye for broadcast television in America. News Corp has refused to
negotiate in good faith and rejected calls from dozens of political
leaders to not pull the plug and join Cablevision in binding
arbitration. We demand that News Corp. put the viewers ahead of its
own greed and immediately restore these channels to our customers
and agree to binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement.”
Cablevision subscribers may miss NFL
football and the Game 1 of Major
League Baseball’s National League Championship Series, if the
News Corp. is demanding more than $150 million a year for its
channels, higher than the $70 million it already receives.
Cablevision has reached agreements with every other major broadcast
station in the market – NBC, ABC, CBS and Univision – and offered
News Corp. as much or more for Fox 5 as it pays any of those
stations. But News Corp. is continuing to demand more for Fox 5
than Cablevision pays all of the other broadcast stations combined.
Fox wants a deal that will eventually see its channels get in the
neighborhood of $1 per subscriber, per month, according to people
familiar with the talks.
“I remain hopeful that these two companies will do what is in
the best interest of consumers and find a way quickly to resolve
their differences,” U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman
Julius Genachowski said in a statement.
In March, Cablevision customers have experienced brief blackouts
of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ABC broadcast signal, missing the
first 15 minutes of the Oscars.
Going back towards the end of 2009, News Corp. and Time Warner
Cable Inc. (TWC) were also at loggerheads with each other over
subscription fees for Fox television stations. That feud threatened
football bowl season and new
episodes of “The Simpsons”, but was ultimately resolved without
disruption in relay.
Cablevision also locked horns with Scripps Networks Interactive
Inc. (SNI) in January that temporarily took off the Food Network
and HGTV from service. The programs were restored in a few weeks,
after both the parties managed to reach an agreement.
CVC closed the Friday’s regular trading session at $26.66, up
$0.14 or 0.53%. NWS closed at $16.02, up $0.16.
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