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

channels.

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

impasse continues.

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

the

college

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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