Article: Fox-Cablevision Dispute May Obstruct Customers’ View of World Series

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.

ATVA Statement: ATVA Applauds Sen. John Kerry For His Leadership and Commitment to Fixing the Outdated Retransmission Consent Regime

“We applaud Senator John Kerry for his leadership and commitment to reform the out-of-date retransmission consent rules.  With Fox currently blacking out 3 million households and the threat of more broadcaster blackouts to come, the government must act to protect viewers. In fact, the Fox blackout is only the latest and among the largest of its kind.  We urge other Members of Congress to follow Senator Kerry’s lead in giving this important issue their immediate attention.  We look forward to working with Senator Kerry, his colleagues and the FCC in modernizing the retransmission consent regime and ultimately, protecting consumers.”

Article: Fox/Cablevision dispute remains unresolved

Radio and Television Business Report
October 21, 2010

The American Television Alliance, a group consisting of MVPDs and consumer groups, is asking the FCC to get involved in the dispute over retransmission fees between Fox/News Corp. and Cablevision. But many question whether the FCC has the power to do much.

Both FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and senior Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps have almost said as much in recent comments. Genachowski has been limited to talking to each company’s CEO and publicly criticizing them, and Copps acknowledged that the FCC has very limited authority, and has been reluctant to use what little it has.

ATVA Statement: Day 6 of FOX Blackout- Still Keeping Sports Fans and Others in the Dark

“Showing no remorse to viewers, News Corp. continues to keep 3 million households in the dark, tonight blacking out what could be the deciding game of the National League playoffs.  FOX’s hit list now includes: 5 MLB playoff games, 2 NFL games, Glee, House, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Hell’s Kitchen and more.  FOX wants more money, but consumers are paying the price.  When will the FCC and Congress step in to protect consumers by updating retransmission consent laws?”

Article: Fox-Cablevision Standoff Continues

Theresa McCabe
The Street
October 21

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — The war between News Corporation’s(NWSA) Fox network and Cablevision(CVC) continues, and the companies don’t seem close to an agreement.

When Fox and Cablevision’s agreement expired on October 15, Fox pulled its programming. Fox did the same several weeks earlier, removing its channels from the Dish Network(DISH) after their agreement expired on Oct. 1.

This left more than 3 million frustrated Cablevision customers in New York without Fox Sunday, therefore without the New York Giants football games as well as the National League Championship Series.

ATVA Statement: Day 4 of Fox Blackout: ATVA Fact Checks Fox and NAB

News Corp. is circulating a letter on the Hill that is inaccurate and misleading.  Most disingenuous is the statement that “The system in place has worked well for nearly two decades, to the benefit of viewers.”   Tell that to the 3 million households blacked out for the fourth day in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia and the millions more who may lose the World Series and other programs if Fox carries out its November 1 threat against DISH Network.   Also today, the National Association of Broadcasters issued a statement stating that “Retransmission consent is the fair, market-based negotiation process.”

ATVA Statement: Day 3 of Fox Blackout: Baseball Playoffs, NFL and Now “House” Goes Dark for Viewers; Time For Congress and FCC to Act

“The Fox blackout continues for a third day. This weekend sports fans were dragged into the middle, tonight it is ‘House’ fans.   The only way to guarantee broadcasters can’t hold up viewers for ransom as a negotiating tool is for Congress and the FCC to change outdated rules.    We applaud Senator John Kerry for his leadership and commitment to address the problem in Congress.  We also urge the FCC to finally recognize the seriousness of the issue and take action.”

Article: Fox, Cablevision standoff continues

No material progress made during Sunday negotiations
October 17, 2010
Spin war as stations go dark

Execs from Cablevision and Fox ended their meeting on Sunday with no resolution to the carriage dispute that has left three million subscribers in Philadelphia and Gotham without Fox stations.

According to sources, no material progress was made in today’s meeting. But execs did agree to meet again on Monday.

This was the second day of negotiations that began hours after Fox’s stations went dark on Cablevision systems when the previous carriage deal expired.

ATVA Statement: Fox Slaps Consumers With Blackout, Puts 3 Million Households in the Dark

Only Congress and FCC Can Curb Broadcaster Arrogance

“After rejecting arbitration and issuing threats, FOX pulled its network station from the air early this morning. Over three million households in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia are now left without access to baseball playoffs, NFL games, and local news and weather.  How much longer will consumers have to live in fear of blackouts by broadcasters?  What community is next?  The FCC and Congress must immediately step in to reform retransmission consent laws.”