After two weeks without access to FOX television stations, Cablevision customers in New York finally got their programming back following the resolution of lengthy negotiations between their cable provider and NewsCorp, the parent corporation to FOX.
“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,” Cablevision has said.
Cablevision finally acquiesced to NewsCorp’s demands to pay higher retransmission fees after FOX yanked its signals from 3 million customers on Cablevision’s system in New York on October 16.
“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.”
NewsCorp returned the following channels: Fox 5, Fox 29, My9, Fox Business Network, National Geographic Wild and Fox Deportes.
In response to customer frustration, Cablevision was preparing to mail customers $10 to cover the cost of watching the World Series online through LB.com.
Other industry standoffs this year have pitted Time Warner Cable Inc. against Fox channels, which threatened the college bowl season and new episodes of “The Simpsons,” and Mediacom Communications Corp. against Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
The standoff was not the first of its kind and most likely will not be the last. The disagreement between Fox and Cablevision prompted law makers, including Senator John Kerry, to introduce legislation in Congress that would have given the Federal Communications Commission authority to adjudicate the dispute and perhaps require customers’ signals to be kept on while the parties worked out terms.