Fox TV-pocalypse ended at Cablevision, averted at Dish Network
Cablevision and Dish Network subscribers can stop worrying about missing the end of the World Series: Over the weekend, the two TV services settled separate carriage disputes with Fox Networks that ended one standoff and avoided another.
Dish struck a deal on Friday afternoon that keeps Fox's local channels on its satellite service and restores the other Fox fare--FX, National Geographic Channel and its regional sports networks--that the Los Angeles network had yanked Oct. 1.
Neither Englewood, Colo.-based Dish's "Fox Is Back" announcement nor the press release jointly issued by the two companies provides financial details, although the latter document describes the deal as a "long term agreement."
Then, on Saturday evening, Cablevision restored Fox's local stations--WNYW and WWOR in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia--as well as Fox Business Network, National Geographic Wild and Fox Deportes.
The Bethpage, N.Y., company still sounds hacked off about the situation, to judge from a statement e-mailed by spokesman Jim Maiella:
In the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest [....] In the end, our customers will pay more than they should for Fox programming, but less than they would have if we had accepted the unprecedented rates News Corp. was demanding when they pulled their channels off Cablevision.
(Note that Cablevision's previous, rejected offer to Fox was to pay the same rate as Time Warner Cable for only WNYW and WTXF--not all the other Fox channels at stake.)
Shockingly enough, Fox's brief press release offers a different spin. It only calls this deal "an agreement in principle," which sounds a lot less secure than its "long term agreement" with Dish.
(12:26 p.m. My colleague Cecilia Kang also posted on this news earlier this morning, noting regulatory and legal issues that left the Federal Communications Commission to do little more than urge the squabbling companies to play nice with each other for a change.)
Cablevision customers, do you think we've seen the last of this conflict? Dish subscribers, what's your guess about what Friday's deal will do to your rates? And everybody else who watches TV: What conclusions do you think these companies have drawn from their experience? What lessons have you learned?
| November 1, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
Categories: Policy and politics, TV, Video
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