War Is Over: Fox & Cablevision Reach Deal

Nellie Andreeva

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 … Read More »

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Dish Network, Fox Reach Carriage Deal

Nellie Andreeva

While it’s still fighting with Cablevision, Fox has settled its carriage dispute with Dish Network. It has signed a comprehensive deal for its broadcast network’s O&O stations as well as the cable channels that went dark on Oct. 1. (They have been restored today.) The Fox network signal was in jeopardy with the two sides’ previous deal expiring Sunday night. The agreement means Dish customers will have continued coverage of the World Series and the NFL unlike Cablevision subscribers who have been without Fox for 2 two weeks as the two sides have failed to agree on a new deal.

Los Angeles and Englewood, Colo. — DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and Fox Networks, an operating unit of News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS), today announced a wide-ranging distribution agreement to provide the third-largest video distributor in the United States with continued access to programming from Fox Broadcasting and Fox local television stations in major cities. The agreement also included carriage of FX, National Geographic Channel, and Fox’s 19 regional sports networks, which were restored for DISH Network viewers Friday.

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UPDATE: No Breakthrough In Cablevision-Fox Spat: Fox Rejects Cablevision’s Offer

Nellie Andreeva

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.”

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HRTS Network Chiefs Lunch: A Star Is Born

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s new chief Paul Lee charmed a room full of industry types at the Hollywood Radio and TV Society’s network chiefs luncheon today, which was otherwise pretty uneventful. Three months into the job, he looked confident and relaxed, stretching … Read More »

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Fox-Cablevision Carriage Spat Escalates With Cease And Desist Letter

Nellie Andreeva

In the latest salvo in Fox and Cablevision’s nasty carriage dispute that has led to the network’s blackout in 3 million Cablevision homes, Fox today served Cablevision with a cease and desist letter for what it described as “encouraging theft of copyrighted material.” Fox’s demand stems from news reports that Cablevision … Read More »

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Cablevision And Fox Spar Over ‘Good Faith’ Negotiation

Nellie Andreeva

Cablevision and Fox have until end of day today to file documents with the FCC proving that they have been negotiating in good faith in their carriage dispute that has kept Fox blacked out in 3 million Cablevision homes for the past 10 days. Cablevision has already sent its response, in which it defends its negotiating tactic, accuses Fox in bad faith negotiations and urges the FCC to intervene with the World Series coverage on Fox only 2 days away. Fox, which is yet to file, issued a statement blasting Cablevision’s accusations. Here are an excerpt from Cablevision’s FCC filing and Fox’s response: Read More »

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UPDATE: Cablevision-Fox War Of Words Intensifies As Political Pressure Mounts

Nellie Andreeva

Here is a brief recap of the events on Day 4 of the Fox blackout on Cablevision that has affected some 3 million  homes in the New York area.

All quiet on the actual negotiations front: “Fox and Cablevision held a short phone call today,” Fox said. “No material progress was made and we remain far apart. Both sides agreed to continue talking tomorrow.” But in the public space and in Washington, the spat created a storm, with more and more politicians weighing in. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) today sent FCC chairman Julius Genachowski a copy of legislation he is drafting, which would mandate that retrans disputes be taken to a third party arbitrator and would put enough safe guards to prevent network blackouts in such disputes. In turn, Genachowski today issued his most sternly-worded statement on the issue yet, in which he said he called the CEOs of the two companies and urged them to negotiate in good faith and reach a deal, though he stopped short of getting the FCC to intervene as some have asked. ”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.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Football Tops Baseball, ‘Undercover Boss’ Hits Low

Nellie Andreeva

With Fox’s reach hampered by its ongoing carriage dispute with Cablevision that has the network blacked out in some 3 million Cablevision homes in the country’s top market, New York, NBC’s Sunday Night Football delivered its best primetime overnight rating against a Major League Baseball League Championship Series in 13 years. SNF, featuring the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 win over the Washington Redskins, earned a 13.2/20, up 10% from last year’s Week 6 game and more than doubling the overnight rating for MLB’s NLCS Game 2 (6.5/10) on Fox, in which the Philadelphia Phillies won over the San Francisco Giants. That despite the fact that Fox’s baseball coverage benefitted from a strong lead-in, an NFL overrun. NBC is expected to once again easily top Sunday night’s ratings. Read More »

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UPDATE: Fox-Cablevision Carriage Spat Claims Baseball Game, Sides Still Far Apart

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE SUNDAY PM: After another session of talks today, Cablevision and Fox once again failed to make any “material progress” and remain far apart, according to a statement from Fox. Negotiations are scheduled to continue tomorrow. Meanwhile, the two sides continued their PR war with dueling statements. Cablevision once again pleaded for attention from Washington and pushed for binding arbitration: “The longer this shameful News Corp. blackout of the NFL and Major League Baseball continues, the more obvious it becomes to everyone, including political leaders of both parties, that binding arbitration is the fastest and fairest way to return Fox programming to Cablevision customers,” the company said. Fox released an open letter to Cablevision subscribers from Lew Leone, GM of the two Fox stations affected by the blackout. Here is a portion of it:

We offered Cablevision the exact same price that other companies are paying for our stations. But for some reason, Cablevision thinks that it deserves special treatment.

Instead of negotiating like a responsible business, Cablevision decided to make this your problem in the hope that if they caused you, the viewer, enough inconvenience, then politicians would intervene. That is what Cablevision’s call for “arbitration” is all about.   But ask yourself – do you think Cablevision would be ok with someone else stepping in to decide the price you pay them for cable and broadband service?

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