Andy’s Cue: Fox returns to Cablevision; Too Little, Too Late
On Saturday, October 30th, after weeks of being in the dark, Fox Television Stations Group and CVC Holdings (the parent of Cablevision) struck a deal to return Fox Owned Channels back to Cablevision subscribers in the New York metro area and Philadelphia.
The channels involved were the Fox Stations in New York: WNYW FOX O&O Channel 5 and WWOR My-Network TV O&O Channel 9, WTXF FOX O&O Channel 29 of Philadelphia, and cable channels Fox Business Network, Nat Geo Wild ( co-owned with National Geographic) and Fox Deportes ( the spanish Fox Sports channel). Due to a separate deal with Fox News Network, LLC, which is in charge of Fox News Channel, Fox News Channel was not affected in the blackout. Fox News Network, LLC is a subsidiary of News Corporation.
The Fox blackout affected Cablevision viewers by not allowing them access to watch NFL ON FOX coverage of the Giants and Jets games, the NLCS Playoffs in Baseball, and Games 1 and 2 of the World Series which is between San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers.
Cablevision responded by saying “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 conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the Fox programs they wish to see.
Cablevision thanks its customers for understanding the reasons for the dispute and for staying with us. We are also grateful to the 175 government leaders who raised their voices to urge government intervention and binding arbitration to prevent this blackout. It is clear the retransmission consent system is badly broken and needs to be fixed.
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”
However, despite what both sides have said, the Cablevision subscribers were the ones left in the cold because of this dispute. Prior to the Fox blackout, WNYW was predicted to win over viewers of WPIX’s 10pm newscast since WPIX ‘s formatting changes have not won over new viewers and alienated their older viewers.
As I mentioned in a posting, I switched to coverage of the games to the radio stations that were covering the games and followed them online.
Although Fox did return the World Series to the airwaves, most New York sports fans really dont care at this point since neither the 2 most likely teams to enter the Series were eliminated. The two teams in question were the 27-time World Series champions and the richest team in baseball: The New York Yankees and the 2-time World Champions The Philadelphia Phillies.
And now, subscribers of Dish Network are next to feel the blackout of Fox Television. The Question is after all this is done, when will it all end? Will the FCC step in this time despite not doing so? Will Fox TV pull out Local affiliates who are under “must carry” status?
But now both companies played the victim, but the viewers themselves were the true victims. Fox likes to boast that they won, and Cablevision will resign themselves to this. However its spun, there is only one thing I can say: “Too Little, Too Late”