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Fox versus Cablevision in NY area: No end in sight

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Fox and Cablevision have yet to resolve a carriage dispute that resulted in the cable company dropping the broadcaster from its system in the New York area that serves more than 3 million homes. Fox released this statement today after viewers through Connecticut, parts of New Jersey, the New York area and a small part of Philadelphia area lost access to Fox programming last weekend: “For the past eight days Cablevision has deprived their subscribers of the National League Championship Series, possibly two weekends of NFL on Fox, and a full week of Fox’s primetime shows. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that Cablevision believes Fox has very limited value to their customers. We urge those Cablevision subscribers who want to see the World Series beginning Oct. 27 to switch providers or purchase an over the air antenna now.”

A Cablevision spokesman released this statement: “We welcome the FCC’s intervention. Whether through FCC action, binding arbitration or any other means, the time has come for News Corp. to end the Fox blackout of 3 million Cablevision households.”

Cablevision claims that it already pays Fox parent 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 says it 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.

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