After a two-week blackout, Fox signal was restored in some 3 million Cablevision homes just before the start of Game 3 of the World Series. Fox just announced that the two sides have reached “an agreement in principal for a new distribution agreement.” The agreement covers Fox O&Os WNYW in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia as well as MyNet’s WWOR in New York and cable channels FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD. It will also allow Cablevision customers in the New York area to watch home NFL team, the New York Jets, in tomorrow’s match-up with the Green Bay Packers on Fox. The deal comes a day after Fox reached an agreement in its other carriage dispute with DISH Network. In its statement, Cablevision called the terms of the deal “unfair” and took a swipe at FCC for not intervening in the standoff. It also indicated that the rates in the final agreement were lower than the “unprecedented” fees Fox had initially asked for and that it would pass the rate increases on to its customers. (Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Fox had been seeking retransmission fees in the $0.50-$1 range per subscriber for its O&Os from cable and satellite providers.) Earlier this week, Cablevision offered to match the terms of Fox’s carriage agreement with Time Warner Cable for the network’s O&O …
UPDATE 1:10PM: Fox just slammed the door to Cablevision’s offer that would’ve saved the World Series for 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area. The sticking point? Fox wants the the proposal Cablevision made, matching Fox’s deal terms with Time Warner Cable, to be extended to MyNetwork TV station WWOR.
We remain committed to negotiating a fair deal with Cablevision, but today’s incomplete proposal is not acceptable. Cablevision is seeking a discounted “package rate” without buying the entire package. We have told Cablevision all along we are willing to negotiate a deal – based on an entire suite of channels – under the terms we have reached with Time Warner Cable and other providers, or a stand alone agreement for WNYW FOX5, WTXF FOX29 and WWOR My9. Cablevision’s offer – sent to the press just as it was provided to us – is yet another in a long line of publicity stunts.
Cablevision immediately responded, accusing Fox of negotiating in bad faith and asking the FCC to intervene.
“On behalf of our customers, we are very disappointed that we offered News Corp. what they asked to be paid for Fox 5 and Fox 29 and News Corp. has said no. It is now clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that News Corp. is operating in bad faith. We call on the FCC to intervene immediately to restore the Fox signals to Cablevision’s 3 million homes and order News Corp. to agree to binding arbitration to resolve this conflict.”