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 …
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.
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.”
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 his legs for most of the time, interjecting with witty zingers and cracking jokes throughout the panel discussion moderated by HRTS and Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs. ”We used to strike when they moved the tea break at the BBC,” Brit Lee quipped when the subject of a potential new WGA strike came up. In terms of ABC programming, Lee didn’t deny the rumor that he might be looking to revive TGIF on ABC. (He recently did a trial run with a younger-skewing family comedy at ABC Family, Melissa & Joey). “I certainly think that Friday night is a huge opportunity,” Lee said. He also alluded that ABC may test some of its marketing campaigns on Facebook before forking out millions to roll them out.
Also pretty entertaining was Fox’s Kevin Reilly, who was asked about the challenges of doing a series for broadcast vs. cable where FCC regulations don’t apply. “It is frustrating sometimes,” he said. “On cable, we would’ve been able to have the guys on Lone Star take off their clothes, the show would’ve pulled 1.3 million viewers and we would’ve declared it a hit because that’s what Mad …
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 has allegedly directed subscribers to illegal websites to view Fox shows as well as NFL games and Major League Baseball playoffs. “Copyright law exists to protect the very creative freedoms that fuel our industry,” Fox said in a statement. “As both a creator and owner of intellectual property – not to mention major sports franchises — Cablevision knows better and should immediately call an end to this unlawful activity.”
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: