The two sides met again on Sunday and just like on Saturday and the days before it, failed to come to an agreement to put Fox stations in New York and Philadelphia back on Cablevision systems in both markets. It means that an entire weekend of sports programming was lost to viewers in the 1st and 4th largest TV markets in the country. The National League Championship Series nor an NFL doubleheader were not seen by Cablevision subscribers and now, other primetime programming is in danger. This week, Fox is slated to show the NLCS on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday if necessary.
Let’s take a look at some of the stories from today.
Brian Stelter and Bill Carter of the New York Times report that the two sides met today and no progress was made.
Brian and Bill say this battle is far from over as Fox faces a potential dispute with Dish Network.
Michael Grynbaum of the Times found disgruntled Giants fans who aren’t happy with either party at this juncture.
Kelly Riddell of Bloomberg writes that talks did not resolve the impasse between the two companies.
Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News says the dispute has left Cablevision customers in the dark.
Jason Molinet of the Northport (NY) Patch says Cablevision customers all over Long Island had to scramble to find a sports bar to watch the New York Giants.
Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York talked to some Giants fans who were not happy about not being able to watch today’s game from home.
Jim McConville of the Asbury Park (NJ) Press says Giants fans were shut out from seeing today’s game against the Lions.
The Jersey Journal says a New York Congressman wants the FCC to intervene.
And Lew Leone, the Vice President and General Manager of WNYW (Fox5) and WWOR (My9) in New York writes this letter to Cablevision customers stating the Fox point of view in the dispute.
AN OPEN LETTER TO CABLEVISION SUBSCRIBERS FROM WNYW
MYFOXNY.COM – AN OPEN LETTER TO CABLEVISION SUBSCRIBERS FROM WNYW FOX5/WWOR My9
October 17, 2010
Dear Cablevision Subscriber:
We understand that the loss of FOX5 and My9 is frustrating and probably has you feeling angry at both companies. We, too, are profoundly disappointed that, despite working hard for many months to avoid this, Cablevision has declined torenew our agreement.
But it is important for you, our viewers, to understand why this is happening. 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?
And the Cablevision family certainly doesn’t allow arbitrators to set the rates for their cable channels like MSG and AMC. In fact, just a few weeks ago, MSG and MSG Plus went off the dial for millions of DISH Network subscribers – and MSG did not ask for arbitration.
Cablevision has called us greedy. It’s an interesting charge, given the fact that the price we’ve offered Cablevision for FOX5 and My9 is more than 70% lower than what the Cablevision family charges other cable operators for MSG and MSG Plus.
Frankly, it is hard to believe a company like Cablevision is accusing anyone else of greed. Cablevision customers pay an average of $149 per month including up to $18 for broadcast stations – and that earned them an average profit of over $795 per subscriber last year. Yet, they have only offered to pay less than a penny a day for FOX5 and My9.
Cablevision has stated that they intend to provide you with a rebate. But if the rebate is equal to what they offered Fox for our stations, you can look forward to a credit of less than 30 cents on your next bill.
Fortunately you have options. All other providers in the New York area carry FOX5 and My9, and of course our stations remain available over the air and can be accessed with an antenna.
We’ll continue to talk to Cablevision in hopes of restoring FOX5 and My9 on your lineup. In the meantime we hope you’ll understand that it is no accident that Cablevision keeps getting into these fights over and over and over again.
For some reason, Cablevision simply feels it doesn’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else. And you shouldn’t be the ones to pay the price. You might consider letting Cablevision know that you believe your right to see the NFL on FOX, the Major League Baseball National League Championship Series and World Series, “Glee,” “House” and all the other shows you love are worth more than a penny a day.
Vice President and General Manager
WNYW FOX5 and WWOR My9
We’ll be monitoring this story as long as it runs as this affects sports viewing. This could even affect the World Series if the dispute lasts that long.