LOS ANGELES--()--For the third time in less than a year, Cablevision has caused a television service disruption in the New York and Philadelphia areas by demanding preferential terms and allowing its agreements to carry WNYW FOX5, WWOR My9, WTXF FOX29, FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD to expire.
“We deeply regret that Cablevision refuses to recognize the value of our programming”
Beginning on Saturday, October 16, Cablevision subscribers will lose FOX5, My9 and FOX29, home of Major League Baseball’s National League Championship Series and the World Series, the NFL on FOX, American Idol, Glee, House, The Simpsons, Family Guy, the local news and other prominent programming.
"We deeply regret that Cablevision refuses to recognize the value of our programming,” said WNYW FOX5 and WWOR MY9 Vice President and General Manager Lew Leone. "Given the current circumstances, we encourage our viewers to visit www.keepfoxon.com or call 1-866-KEEP-FOX to learn of alternate providers in their area.”
Fox has submitted numerous proposals to the cable operator in an effort to secure an agreement. However, Cablevision has refused to negotiate in good faith and rejected all of Fox’s offers.
“In an effort to avoid this very situation, we started this process in May and made numerous reasonable proposals to Cablevision,” said Mike Hopkins, President, Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. “However, we remain far apart and Cablevision has made it clear that they do not share our view regarding the value of Fox’s networks. After days of posturing and the appearance of negotiating, they formally stopped even the pretense of negotiating at 8pm – declaring an “impasse” – and made no further efforts toward reaching a new agreement before the expiration.” Hopkins also said, “We remain willing to negotiate and hope that future talks ultimately will be productive, but as of now Cablevision has declined to counter our most recent proposal. Regrettably, their efforts were focused more on calls for government intervention than constructive negotiations.”
Cablevision spent most of Friday refusing to engage in constructive bargaining – instead issuing statements calling for the FCC and others to mandate binding arbitration. Fox rejected those demands saying that Cablevision needed to stop hiding behind a call for government intervention and negotiate in good faith.
Fox stated that direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve the issue, and noted that Cablevision is being hypocritical by claiming that Fox’s proposals are not fair. According to SNL Kagan, in 2009 Cablevision paid itself and charged other pay-TV companies considerably more for just two of its channels (MSG and MSG Plus) than it paid Fox for 12 of its channels, even though the Fox channels enjoy significantly higher ratings.
While Fox assures its fans that the company will continue to negotiate in hopes of reaching a successful conclusion, viewers have options and can visit www.keepfoxon.com or call 1-866-KEEP-FOX to find an alternate provider in their area.
Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing is a unit of Fox Networks Group (FNG) and includes 37 domestic programming services in which FNG holds interests. Together these networks reach more than 550 million subscribing television homes and represent one of the media industry’s largest and most diverse programming groups. Fox Networks Sales and Marketing distributes FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Fox Reality Channel, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, FSN and 19 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox College Sports, FOX Deportes and the Big Ten Network (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference). FNG also includes the FOX broadcast network, Fox Digital Media, and Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.