Brain Stetler and Bill Carter
New York Times
October 24, 2010
The News Corporation’s Fox and local stations in the New York metropolitan area have been blacked out for more than a week in the three million homes served by Cablevision. The negotiators have dug in their heels; the two sides have not spoken to each other since Thursday afternoon.
More than just the tens of millions of dollars in payments that Cablevision makes to the News Corporation are at stake. The dispute is also about the government’s role in the battles over Americans’ access to television channels — battles that seem to be happening more often as stations envision higher fees as a substitute for declining advertising revenue. A long blackout increases the pressure on local and federal lawmakers alike.
But both companies feel that the fight is worthwhile. Cablevision says it wants the government to intervene, while the News Corporation aims to hold out for the price it believes it deserves for its popular TV shows.