Cablevision Demands News Corp. Return Fox 5 and My9 to Cablevision Customers and Submit to Binding Arbitration to Reach a Fair Agreement
BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- At midnight on October 16, News Corp. pulled the plug on Cablevision customers, blacking out Fox 5 and My9 in more than 3 million NY-area households. Cablevision is calling on News Corp. to immediately put Fox 5 and My9 back on Cablevision and submit to binding arbitration under a neutral third party to reach a fair agreement.
Charles Schueler, Cablevision's executive vice president of communications, said:
"News Corp.'s decision to remove Fox programming from three million Cablevision households is a black eye for broadcast television in America. News Corp has refused to negotiate in good faith and rejected calls from dozens of political leaders to not pull the plug and join Cablevision in binding arbitration. We demand that News Corp. put the viewers ahead of its own greed and immediately restore these channels to our customers and agree to binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement. What is News Corp. afraid of?"
News Corp.'s pattern of destructive tactics has become clear. First, they threatened Time Warner Cable customers for weeks; then they pulled regional sports and cable channels off Dish Network; and now they have pulled the plug on Fox 5 and My9 for 3 million Cablevision households. Further, they are now threatening to pull their broadcast stations away from Dish Network's 14 million customers in two weeks. It is clear that News Corp. will pull the plug on any viewer, served by any cable, satellite or phone company, to get the money they want.
On Friday, News Corp. even flatly rejected the FCC's call for independent mediation. More than 100 political leaders called upon Cablevision and News Corp. to keep the channels on while they continued to negotiate, and 36 elected officials called upon Cablevision and News Corp. to submit to binding arbitration, to ensure no disruption of programming for customers. Cablevision agreed, but News Corp. rejected this fair approach.
Cablevision already pays News Corp. more than $70 million a year for its channels, and News Corp. is demanding more than $150 million a year for the same exact programming. Cablevision has reached agreements with every other major broadcast station in the market – NBC, ABC, CBS and Univision – and offered News Corp. as much or more for Fox 5 as it pays any of those stations. But News Corp. is continuing to demand more for Fox 5 than Cablevision pays all of the other broadcast stations combined.
Cablevision is employing a variety of direct-to-consumer tactics to alert customers to News Corp.'s decision to pull Fox 5 and My9 off its system. Cablevision customers should urge News Corp. to return the channels immediately by calling 1-877-NO-TV-TAX, visiting www.cablevision.com/fox, joining its Facebook group "Cablevision Viewers Say: No New Fox Fees" or following on Twitter @No_New_Fox_Fees.
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings, the company owns and operates News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision's assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.
SOURCE Cablevision Systems Corporation
Cablevision Drops Fox
10.16.10, 12:03 AM EDT
BusinessWire - --Cablevision's Demand for Preferential Treatment Forces Viewers to Lose National League Championship Series, World Series, NFL on FOX, Glee, House, American Idol, The Simpsons, and Other Prominent Programming on FOX5, My9 and FOX29
--FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD Also Dropped
For the third time in less than a year, Cablevision has caused a television service disruption in the New York and Philadelphia areas by demanding preferential terms and allowing its agreements to carry WNYW FOX5, WWOR My9, WTXF FOX29, FOX Deportes, FOX Business Network, and Nat Geo WILD to expire.
Beginning on Saturday, October 16, Cablevision subscribers will lose FOX5, My9 and FOX29, home of Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series and the World Series, the NFL on FOX, American Idol, Glee, House, The Simpsons, Family Guy, the local news and other prominent programming.
"We deeply regret that Cablevision refuses to recognize the value of our programming," said WNYW FOX5 and WWOR MY9 Vice President and General Manager Lew Leone. "Given the current circumstances, we encourage our viewers to visit www.keepfoxon.com or call 1-866-KEEP-FOX to learn of alternate providers in their area."
Fox has submitted numerous proposals to the cable operator in an effort to secure an agreement. However, Cablevision has refused to negotiate in good faith and rejected all of Fox's offers.
"In an effort to avoid this very situation, we started this process in May and made numerous reasonable proposals to Cablevision," said Mike Hopkins, President, Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. "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. After days of posturing and the appearance of negotiating, they formally stopped even the pretense of negotiating at 8pm -- declaring an "impasse" -- and made no further efforts toward reaching a new agreement before the expiration." Hopkins also said, "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. Regrettably, their efforts were focused more on calls for government intervention than constructive negotiations."
Cablevision spent most of Friday refusing to engage in constructive bargaining -- instead issuing statements calling for the FCC and others to mandate binding arbitration. Fox rejected those demands saying that Cablevision needed to stop hiding behind a call for government intervention and negotiate in good faith.
Fox stated that direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve the issue, and noted that Cablevision is being hypocritical by claiming that Fox's proposals are not fair. According to SNL Kagan, in 2009 Cablevision paid itself and charged other pay-TV companies considerably more for just two of its channels (MSG and MSG Plus) than it paid Fox for 12 of its channels, even though the Fox channels enjoy significantly higher ratings.
While Fox assures its fans that the company will continue to negotiate in hopes of reaching a successful conclusion, viewers have options and can visit www.keepfoxon.com or call 1-866-KEEP-FOX to find an alternate provider in their area.
Fox Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing is a unit of Fox Networks Group (FNG) and includes 37 domestic programming services in which FNG holds interests. Together these networks reach more than 550 million subscribing television homes and represent one of the media industry's largest and most diverse programming groups. Fox Networks Sales and Marketing distributes FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Fox Reality Channel, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, FSN and 19 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox College Sports, FOX Deportes and the Big Ten Network (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference). FNG also includes the FOX broadcast network, Fox Digital Media, and Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.
SOURCE: Fox Cable Networks