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.

“In an effort to avoid this very situation, we started this process in May and made numerous reasonable proposals to Cablevision,” Fox networks affiliate sales and marketing president Mike Hopkins said in an October 16 press release. “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.”

Hopkins said that the two companies have been attempting to negotiate a deal but formally stopped trying, and officially declared an “impasse.”

“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,” Hopkins said. “Regrettably, their efforts were focused more on calls for government intervention than constructive negotiations.”

Federal Communications Committee chairman Julius Genachowski released a statement on Tuesday in which he expressed his disappointment in both companies.

“I am deeply troubled that Cablevision and Fox are spending more time attacking each other through ads and lobbyists than sitting down at the negotiating table,” Genachowski said. “The time for petty gamesmanship is over.”

With pressure mounting, many feel that it’s time for the FCC to step in and take action.

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